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THE UNIVERSITY OF
140 PACIFIC A VENUE
LONG BEACH, CALIF.
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Dr. Arley Munson
BEING THE EXPERIENCES OF AN
AMERICAN WOMAN DOCTOR IN INDIA
ARLEY MUNSON, M.D.
NEW YORK AND LONDON
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
COPYBIGHT, igi3, BV
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY ,,
Printed in the United States of America
TO MY MOTHER
When my friends ask me : "Why did you leave the
splendid opportunities of your own country for the
discomforts and dangers of a far-off pagan land?" I
feel inclined to make the submissive reply heard so
frequently from the lips of the meek-voiced women
of India: "Kismet! Adrushtam! It was my destiny.
How else should I find peace?"
It was during my early childhood that, on turning
the leaves of a mission book, I found an illustration
representing a Hindu mother throwing her baby into
the gaping jaws of a crocodile, as a sacrifice to the
gods; and I asked my mother what the dreadful pic-
ture meant. When she had explained it to me, I hid
my tearful face on her shoulder, and, my heart swell-
ing with sorrow and pity, I resolved to "hurry and
grow up" that I might go out to India and "save those
poor little babies."
In the years that followed I learned the tragedy of
the Indian woman's existence, and the smoldering
resolve of my childhood flamed into a mature and
steady determination to spend a part of my life prac-
ticing medicine and surgery in India, with the hope
that by healing the body I might reach the mind and
heart and lead them, if ever so short a distance, out of
the darkness of ignorance and vice that surrounded
My medical college and hospital studies completed,
I left New York for India.
On my journey to India and during the five years
of my life there I kept a fairly accurate record of
my experiences, from which record the present book is
The illustrations are from photographs of the actual
persons and places mentioned in my story. I avail
myself of this opportunity to thank Rev. Charles W.
Posnett of Medak, India, for his cordial and generous
permission to use the photographs taken in his dis-
I have touched but lightly on the evangelical side
of mission life. My effort to rid my patients of phys-
ical ailments occupied my time so fully that I was
obliged to resign their spiritual guidance to my thor-
oughly able and willing colleagues.
This book, then, apart from rough sketches of
scenes as they came before me in my travels from
Bombay to Calcutta, from Kashmir to Tuticorin, is
simply a glimpse into warmly beating human hearts
hidden away in the depths of Indian jungle-villages,
where their "Doctor Mem Sahib" found them, loved
them, and tried, in her imperfect, human way, to help
Though at times the thunders of defeat and tragedy
almost deafened me, rang always high above the
tumult the clear, sweet note of that happiness promised
in Mr. Kipling's vision of the future, when "... no
one shall work for money, and no one shall work for
fame, But each for the joy of the working ..."
Life at Sholapur . . . .
Wayside Sketches . . . .
The City of Palaces . . . .
Sholapur Again . . . . .
My Indian Home . . . .
The Rains .....
Our Indian Friends
American Thanksgiving Day in Isdu
Dream Days Among the Himalayas
Back to the Plains
We Go A-Touring
On Horseback and Off
The Jahtra ....
Rice Christians ....
Off to Kashmir ....
Summer Sightseeing .
Women of India ....
Jungle Foes ....
New Camping Grounds
An April Holiday
XXIX. To THE Hills Away
XXX. Darjiling .
XXXI. Hospital Lights and Shades
XXXII. Young Hopefuls .
XXXIII. Penetrating the Wilds
XXXIV. Fantastic Summer's Heat
XXXV. Strenuous Times
XXXVI. The Cholera Terror .
XXXVII. Farewells . . ,,.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Dr. Alley Munson Frontispiece
J^Iedak Dispensary, vaccination day 42
Indian carpenters at work 60
String bed of India, the common sleeping cot. . . 60
In the ^Medak Dispensary 70
IVIahomedan Madas bringing gratitude oflfering of
sheep garlanded vnXh. flowers 70
Dr. Munson operating in Medak Hospital .... 76
Comer of medical ward, Medak Hospital .... 76
Dora Chatterjee 86
Swing bridge of Kashmir 134
Snake charmers and jugglers 134
Kashmiri women 138
Watering the rice-fields 182
Tree ferns in India 212
Medak Zevana Hospital, prayer comer, surgical ward 226
A country cart stopping at Medak Hospital . . . 232
Medak touring outfit 232
Boys' playground, Medak 250
Girls' playgroimd, Medak ' ... 250
Medak doctor on tour 256
Medak nurse \'isiting the sick in a palanquin . . . 256
Sunday Bible Class, Medak 292
BOMBAY to-morrow morning!" exclaimed
the captain cheerily as we rose from din-
ner, and we knew our long voyage was
ended. Ocean life and ocean friendships had
been delightful, but that last evening, instead of
the usual merry gathering on deck, everybody,
busy with his own thoughts, was strangely quiet.
At midnight I still gazed out over the water,
the vast loneliness of the sea sinking into my
soul. My dream of work in India would soon
be reality. For years I had heard my little sisters
of India calling to me to help them, and now I was
nearly there. The thought almost overwhelmed
me, for who was I that I should presume to teach
others how to live! Deep down in my heart, I
longed — Oh, so desperately! — to turn traitor to
my ideals and go back home. But this was cow-
ardly indeed; so, stifling a sigh which was half
a sob, I strengthened myself with a whispered,
"No more backward glances! Eastward ho!"
and went to my stateroom, where I had a com-
forting good-night chat with Sonubai.
Sonubai was one of my college mates who was
traveling with me on her way home to Sholapur.
In response to the cordial invitation of her par-
ents, Dr. and Mrs. Keskar (those Brahmans con-
verted to Christianity who did such noble, self-
sacrificing work among the sufferers in the recent
terrible famines and who later became the medi-
cal superintendents of a Christian orphanage and
leper asylum at Sholapur), I had decided to make
my home with them until my plans for work
When we rose next morning everybody was
in a fever of excitement, for there before us, a
horseshoe of purest sapphire blue, lay the harbor
My eyes eagerly scanned every detail: stately
steamships and other ocean-going craft lay well
out from the land; tom-tits, curious little sail-
boats manned by native boatmen, darted here and
there; and the white shore and green trees af-
forded a soothing background to the gaudy dis-
play of color on the pier, where hundreds of the
Indian men of Bombay in gala raiment — a few
foreigners and white-clad Englishmen among
them — had come to welcome our giant ship from
We had left the ship for the tender and were
approaching the pier when Sonubai exclaimed
delightedly, "There's Father!" and in another
moment Dr. Keskar and Rev. Dr. Karmarkar,
an Indian Christian of Bombay, were heartily
greeting us. The customs ordeal ended, we drove
toward Dr. Karmarkar's home.
With slow tread and downcast face, women in
draperies of every hue and texture passed
through the streets, their jewels almost covering
face, neck, arms, and legs, and jingling at every
step. A few of the men were quietly dressed,
but many would have put a peacock to shame, as,
in blue coat, magenta waistcoat, red trousers,
rose-pink turban, and yellow shoes, or in some
other color scheme quite as varied, they shuf-
fled along. The whining cry of blind beggars
in simple loin-cloth pierced the babel that sur-
rounded us. And there were the babies of the
city, carried on their mothers' hips or running
about the streets, their shiny brown skin alone
clothing their chubby bodies.
Occasionally an English soldier or civilian in
khaki or white duck passed through the crowds,
his trim costume and ruddy Western face
strangely at variance with the life about him.
From the din of the crowded, unsavory ba-
zaar, with its fat shopkeepers, its tiny, open
shops, and the dusty confusion of its wares, we
were glad to come into the wide, green Esplanade
Road. Here the passing throngs were like a
story-book pageant: English ladies and gentle-
men in summer habit galloped by on spirited
horses, or, exquisitely dressed in Hyde Park or
Fifth Avenue style, drove leisurely along in open
carriages; military officers in uniform rode reck-
lessly; a palanquin, closely curtained and con-
taining some "pride-of-the-harem," was borne
past, the women servants following on horseback
and an Indian gentleman — husband or son — can-
tering by the side of the palanquin, each hand
holding a rein and the arms flopping negligently ;
and dark-skinned ayahs in snowy muslins were
there, in charge of daintily dressed English chil-
At the Karmarkar house, Mrs. Karmarkar,
who had taken her medical degree from the same
college in Philadelphia from which I was gradu-
ated, met us with warm hospitality, and in the
evening she and Dr. Karmarkar gave a feast —
jawan — to all the friends who had arrived that
day in India.
The floor was prettily decorated with a design
in red chalk, while exquisite red roses formed
the centerpiece. In full evening dress, we sat
about, Turk-fashion, on bright-colored rugs, and
ate with our fingers from the banana leaves on
which the food was served, while garlands of
pink roses and white jasmine around our necks
added gaiety to the jolly, informal feast.
The gentleman who sat beside me taught me the
table etiquette of the Hindu, Food should be
eaten with the right hand, only the thumb and
the first two fingers — even those not below the
first joint — coming in contact with the food;
water should be poured from the glass into the
mouth without touching the lips. That finger
and glass affair may sound easy. Try it! Al-
though I enjoyed the Indian food, the meal
seemed like the old picnic meals of childhood,
more sweet and spicy things than things substan-
With teas, dinners, receptions, and services at
the various mission institutions, the American
missionaries and Dr. Keskar's friends among the
Indian Christians filled our time so pleasantly
that it seemed but a turn of the kaleidoscope be-
fore our Bombay visit came to an end and we
were off for Sholapur.
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
ALL the way to Sholapur, Sonubai and I
had our railway coach to ourselves.
Along each side of the roomy compart-
ment ran an eight-foot, leather-cushioned seat,
and above each of these seats hung a wide shelf,
also leather-cushioned, constituting an "upper
berth," which could be hooked back against the
wall when not in use. As there was floor space
enough between the lower seats and the tiny but
complete dressing-room to accommodate all our
trunks and bundles, we had the coolies place our
baggage inside our own coach. Then, wrapping
our rugs about us, we stretched ourselves com-
fortably on the long seats and slept soundly till
the train rolled into Sholapur.
At their Orphanage on the outskirts of Shola-
pur, where, because of the plague in the city,
the Keskars were camping, we were met by the
children of the institution, hundreds of bare-
footed, brown-faced boys and girls, the boys in
turban, dhoti (draped trousers) and coat of spot-
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
less white, the girls with their graceful red sari
flung loosely over head and shoulders and falling
in long pleats to the ground. As we approached,
they burst into a song of joyous greeting — the
poor lepers joining in from the distance. When,
with bright smiles of welcome and a lusty, "Sa-
laam!" the children had finished the song, and
Sonubai's mother and two younger sisters had
greeted her with tearful embraces and me with
courteous warmth, there began one of the strang-
est, most bewitching dances I had ever seen. A
company of about twenty small boys divided into
two lines. With body and limbs moving in per-
fect rhythm to the sound of their crude casta-
nets and to the loud beating of a drum, they stood
first on one foot, then on the other ; whirled round
and round; wound in and out of the opposite line
in a graceful series of intertwinings ; sank to a
sitting posture on their heels; then rose again
light as air. All this again and again, slowly at
first, then faster and faster, until the little danc-
ers, exhausted, dropped laughing to the ground
amid our loud applause.
As we passed along, group after group came
toward us, their leader throwing garlands of pink
roses and yellow marigolds over our heads, until
we reached the cool, roofed veranda where we
listened to a speech of welcome from Dr. Keskar,
followed by prayers and hymns of gratitude for
our safe arrival.
Although I did not understand the vernacular,
I could easily read in the faces of the little ones
gathered about me happiness and comfort and a
sincere love for "Papa" and "Mamma," as they
call Dr. and Mrs. Keskar. It was hard to realize
that many of the chubby, happy-faced boys and
girls gathered about me were the famine children
of 1899 and 1900, the pathetic little skeletons
which the press throughout the world so vividly
described and photographed.
The greeting ceremonies ended, I was intro-
duced to Indian home life.
With unlimited hospitality, the Keskar family
did all they could to give me pleasure, Mrs. Kes-
kar personally superintending the preparation of
English food for me — the Indian curries, hot
with chilis, were painful to my throat — while
Guramma, the cook, deftly turned it out from
pots and pans in use on the mud stove. There
are no chimneys in Indian village houses, but
Guramma, laughing and chatting happily over
her work, seemed not at all inconvenienced by
the clouds of smoke rolling over her head and
filling the kitchen, though I could not even pass
through the room without a violent fit of cough-
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
My day began with Suernamala. That im-
pressive name belonged to my small handmaiden
who, from morning till night, except during
school hours, was somewhere close at hand.
When the morning sun roused me from sleep I
could see Suernamala's plump figure flitting about
the room. Observing that I was awake, she
would bow low in a respectful salaam, and sum-
mon Bhagu, her assistant (India is a land of
assistant unto assistant), to help her bring my
chota hazrai (little breakfast), a simple meal of
tea and toast and jelly. Frequently, when the
child was grateful to me for some trifling favor,
she would stoop and kiss the hem of my gown.
I tried in vain to break her of this habit, but, in
spite of all my explanations, she would tearfully
implore me not to consider her unworthy to touch
even my clothing, so I submitted with what grace
Most of the day was spent in attending to the
various ailments of the children, for, soon after
coming to Sholapur, Sonubai and I had started a
little dispensary for the Orphanage.
Then, as twilight came on, we would stroll
about the compound, feeling like the *Tied Piper
of Hamelin," for children surrounded us on every
side and followed in a long stream behind, cling-
ing to our dresses and fingertips, and chattering
merrily to each other and to us.
At night, after the children slept, Sonubai and
I would sit in low chairs by the little mother's
side and listen while she sang to us the sweet
Marathi hymns or narrated, with a pretty mix-
ture of English and Marathi, the old legends of
In the midst of this peaceful existence would
come the startling sights and sounds of the jun-
gle, so that for days I was surprised at nothing
but the lack of a surprise. Now the cry of
"Sahp!" would ring through the air; some one
had seen a snake, and the schoolboys would arm
themselves with heavy sticks and seek out the
reptile — cobra or python — which had little chance
to escape. Again, some one would shout that a
mad dog was in the compound — the life of the
pariah dog, the homeless, pitiful scavenger of the
Orient, frequently ends in hydrophobia — and a
moment later the shrieks of the beast as he was
clubbed to death would send shivers down my
spine. Milder surprises were the howls of the
jackal, filling the night with wild, weird sound;
a fox dashing through the compound; an owl
flying into the house; or a stately camel stalking
slowly along the dusty road, a dark-faced, wild-
looking man of the desert on its back.
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
As a drove of camels passed one day Dr. Kes-
kar persuaded the driver to give me a ride. The
camel, not half so pleased as I, grumbled most
disagreeably while he knelt for the mount. The
great pack on his back was covered with one of
our own rugs, the creature emitted more of those
hideous grunts, and then I held for life to the
pack-ropes while he slowly rose to his feet.
When the camel knew that his driver was de-
termined I should have a ride, he took to me
more kindly; so, doing my best to balance myself
and to sway with the dreadful sweeping swing of
that great hump, I rode with more triumph than
dignity all around the compound.
When Christmas came — my first Christmas in
the tropics — it seemed to me that I was living in
a dream. The weather was perfect, the sky, an
intense, dazzling blue, the clouds mere flecks of
down, and tiny zephyrs, fragrant with the breath
of roses and lemon-grass, caressed my cheek with
the soft touch of a baby's hand. Friendly spar-
rows hopped about the floor or chirped overhead
among the rafters ; lizards scuttled along the wall
in the sunshine; tiny squirrels frisked about the
doorstep, or, half shyly, half impudently, peeped
in at us. From the windows we could see a round
Eastern well with a green orchard in the back-
ground. Little brown boys frolicked under the
trees or splashed with delight in the pond; goats
with their kids hopped among the rocks or, stand-
ing on their hind legs, reached eager mouths to
the young leaves above them ; emerald green par-
rakeets skimmed through the air ; and the cooing
of the jungle doves mingled with the raucous caw-
ing of a flock of crows in a neighboring tree.
During Christmas Eve, and all through the
night, groups of men and boys had come beneath
our windows singing Christmas carols in the
good, old-fashioned way; and now on Christmas
Day, the compound resounded with the song and
laughter of the children at their games ; even the
poor lepers seemed full of Christmas spirit; and
life was good to live.
The coming of the bangle-man added to the
pleasure and excitement. Under Mrs. Keskar's
directions, he gave a pair of the bright-colored
glass trinkets to each of the schoolgirls, the vain
little creatures insisting on the tiniest bangles in
spite of the pain which brought the tears to their
eyes as the bangle-man coaxed the bangles over
their hands. As a guest of the house, I also was
decorated. I refused to be tortured, however,
and, greatly to the bangle-man's disgust, insisted
on a fair-sized pair of bangles which slipped eas-
ily over my hands.
After the distribution of gifts to the children
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
of the Orphanage, the Keskar family and I went
to the Leper Asylum. Although in a few of the
poor, doomed lepers no outward sign of the dread
disease could be detected, most of them had the
bleared eyes, and seamed, swollen features of ad-
vanced leprosy, and many had neither fingers nor
For the time being they had lost the hopeless
look which, sooner or later, comes into the eyes
of lepers, and delightedly they grasped the treas-
ures held out to them, responding with a loud
"Tankoo!" and a graceful salaam. Three-year-
old Rubi did her best, but could only wave her
hand in an uncertain way and piece out the ges-
ture with a dimpling smile. I shuddered to think
of the wretched fate of that bright babe. Even
then she showed the telltale spots!
The presents given, the lepers sang their na-
tive songs for us with drum and castanet accom-
paniment, and then we returned to the Orphan-
age and the Christmas dinner.
Poolaii (rice and goat-meat boiled together)
takes the place of our turkey at home, and the
children's eyes glistened as, seated on the ground
in perfect content, they dipped their fingers again
and again into the heaped-up plates, or drank
long draughts of water from their tin cups.
Baby Assiabai was too young for the poolau,
but her coos and gurgles showed that she also
enjoyed her Christmas. Baby Assiabai repre-
sents one of Dr. Keskar's medical triumphs. A
few months before Christmas, Dr. Keskar found
her, a tiny babe on the very verge of starvation,
in a corner of a village hut. Lean, hungry-eyed
rats gnawed greedily at her fingers and toes, and,
close by, five dead bodies, plague-stricken, lay
huddled. The doctor brought the wailing child
to his Orphanage and put her in charge of a fos-
ter-mother who tenderly nursed her back to life.
The wounds of the hands and feet soo» healed,
the wasted form rounded out, and dimples played
in the plump cheeks as she laughed at our at-
tempts to amuse her.
Our one sadness of the Christmas-time was to
find that Kanku had the leprosy. Kanku, a child
of South India and a stranger indeed among our
Marathis, often wept bitterly over the thought-
less teasing of the other children about her South
country language and customs; the only happi-
ness of her timid, home-loving Indian heart was
to stand outside the lepers' inclosure and talk
with two or three leper girls who were from her
own district in the South. Then, on Christmas
Day, we found in Kanku unmistakable signs of
leprosy and gently told her so with a shrinking
dread of her misery at the bitter truth. To our
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
surprise, Kanku laughed joyfully, ''Now I can
be with my own people," and rushed away to her
little countrywomen in the Lepers' Asylum.
New Year's Day was celebrated by dining with
a prominent Brahman family of Sholapur. The
invitation surprised me, but Dr. Keskar explained
that the Brahman gentleman who had sent the
invitation was less orthodox in thought than
Brahmans usually are; that he had been to Eng-
land and America, thereby breaking his caste;
but that he dressed in costume, observed the rites,
and had duly performed all the ceremonies of
purification, one of which is the eating and drink-
ing of the five products, including the excretions,
of the cow; so he had been received with no ques-
tion among his people. The Brahman's wife
greeted us shyly, bringing all the children to see
us; but these did not sit with us at the meal, for
Brahman women eat after the men have finished,
the wife eating of the husband's leavings. There
were several Hindu guests present, and we sat
on the floor. Once, instead of the food being
placed by my side, I thoughtlessly took it from
the hand of the waiter, thus defiling the poor
fellow, who was instantly compelled to take a
The eldest son of the family, a grown man,
had appeared at the table in his white dhoti and
shirt, and it was explained to me that the shirt
was in deference to my feeHngs, for it is the
habit of the Brahmans to dine in the dhoti alone.
Another curious custom which they observed
was the surrounding of each leaf plate with a
ring of water, and the placing of a morsel of
food on the floor as an offering to the gods. This
is the Hindu ''grace."
Bidding the women good-by, in their own
apartment, we joined the men in the drawing-
room, chatted a while, and started homeward.
Squatting on his flat board seat our driver
urged on the bullocks by tickling them with his
toes, or twisting their tails, and all through the
crowded bazaar his cry rang out frequently : "A,
gardi wallah, bahdsooday! (O, driver of the ve-
hicle, to the side!)"
A holy beggar — fakir — went chanting along
as we passed, his flowing, unkempt hair and al-
most naked body proclaiming his profession.
Farther on, two Hindu gentlemen, having
greeted each other, squatted down on the side-
walk for a cozy chat, sitting on their heels and
bearing their whole weight on their toes.
As we passed the old fort we stopped to ex-
plore the interior, full of relics of ancient Hindu
and Mohammedan life. I heard the legend of the
woman who, with her unborn babe, was buried
LIFE AT SHOLAPUR
alive under the tower, as a religious sacrifice. I
saw the crude, red-painted Kali, goddess of de-
struction, who stands with head bent forward.
It is said that she swore no Englishman should
ever set foot in the fort; and, when the English
conquered and entered, the goddess bowed her
head in shame and sadness, and has never raised
it since. In the temple of the fort a very differ-
ent and proud little Kali is decked in richest gold
and silver and jewels, each of her eyes being a
On the outskirts of Sholapur we passed the
relief tents, where people had fled from the
plague. In Sholapur, a town of about seventy-
five thousand inhabitants, thirty-six was at that
time the average daily mortality, and the number
steadily increased until the hot season.
So the days passed until, despite the cordial
urging of the Sholapur people that I remain with
them longer, I felt that I must begin my work in
India. As the Government Surgeon of Sholapur
advised me to go to Calcutta to see Sir Denzil
Ibbetson, President of the Council, about a hos-
pital appointment, I started on my journey across
the whole breadth of India.
SUERNAMALA packed my valise with a
few necessaries and many of her own
ready tears, and, with the loud "Salaam !"
of the children ringing through the air, I rattled
away in the dust of the country road.
At one of the stations I climbed down from the
train to observe more closely the scenes about me.
At all large railway stations a fenced-off yard
is allotted to the third-class passengers, who, not
having any idea of the time their train will start,
or of the value of time in general, bring their
blankets and other baggage the night before they
wish to begin their journey and camp out in the
As our train stopped these fenced-in, would-be
passengers crowded close to the gate. The guard
let them out and they scurried for the third-class
coaches. Pushing, pulling, crowding, huddling,
shouting, they climbed aboard the train, and only
when they had packed every coach to the limit of
its capacity (the men in separate compartments
from the women) did they seem contented.
Gurgling hookahs, cigarettes, and small pipes
made from leaves were produced (the women of
India as well as the men smoke from early child-
hood), and, as the smoke issued forth in clouds,
the tones sank to intermittent murmurs, and all
A young English soldier with a fair, good-
humored face, in khaki uniform and with dark
soldier cap set jauntily on one side of his head,
was putting his Eurasian family into a third-class
coach marked *'For European Females." The
coolie asked him a question and he replied with
an impatient gesture: "Oh, go t'ell!" Then, see-
ing me, he added apologetically: "Beg pardon,
Ma'am! But these fellahs, 'ow they do torment
I had started again to board the train when I
almost fancied I was having "visions," for I saw
before me, among the motley Indian crowd, a
young man in whose high-bred features, athletic
air, natty gray suit, and Panama hat something
spoke plainly of American university life. At
the same moment he saw me and stopped short
in his walk, staring hard. Then, flushing with
pleasure, he rushed up to me.
"I beg your pardon, but you're a New Yorker,
aren't you ?"
"Yes; how did you know?"
"Why, that's easy; you've Broadway written
all over you. I tell you, I'm glad to see you ! A
fellow gets awfully lonesome in this blasted coun-
There was time for no more. The train bell
rang for starting and I stepped into the coach,
smiling a good-by to a homesick, boyish face.
Soon the Vindhya Mountains shut us in on
every side, those wonderful piles of granite and
syenite variously shaped as if, in ages past, giants
must have hurled into the air immense boulders
which fell on the flattened mountain tops in all
sorts of positions until they took on the semblance
of a great city standing strongly outlined against
the heavens. I could see five of the boulders
piled one on top of the other so delicately bal-
anced that it seemed as if a child's hand could
send them crashing to the valley below.
At one point the plain lay hundreds of feet be-
low the track and the train passed through tun-
nel after tunnel. When I had counted twenty-
five I thought of the old lady traveling through
the Rocky Mountains who wondered what would
happen "if the train should miss any of those
Breaking my journey most pleasantly at Bhan-
dara, where I spent a day or two at the hospitable
home of Rao Sahib Rangrao, whose wife is Mrs.
Keskar's sister, I then journeyed onward in com-
pany with Babu Rangrao, the eldest son of the
house, who was on his way to the Calcutta Medi-
cal College, of which he was a student, and with
Manakbai, the eldest daughter, returning, after
her vacation, to the Calcutta High School.
In Bengal I was, for the first time, in the
tropics of my dreams — moist and warm and lux-
uriant with bright-colored vegetation. Mud huts
and huts of straw nestled among giant palm trees,
every hut surrounded by its own garden of gay
flowers. It lent a thrill to the scene to know
that in the great forests we were passing the
royal Bengal tiger stalked the deer and the wild
elephant roamed in lordly freedom. Scores of
the jungle tales I had heard in my childhood
thronged upon me and held mad revel in my
THE CITY OF PALACES
ACCORDING to Dr. Keskar's written re-
quest his friend Babu Atul Nag met me
in Calcutta and we drove across the
wonderful pontoon bridge over the Hooghly to
the London Mission, where it had been arranged
that I should make my home during my stay in
When, during a pleasant interview next morn-
ing with Sir Denzil Ibbetson, he explained that
in a government post the physician is not allowed
to teach Christianity, I immediately gave up all
thought of trying to obtain such a position, and
decided to join some mission in need of medical
The charm of the ''City of Palaces" held me a
few days longer. Every afternoon we had a de-
lightful drive along the broad Esplanade, through
the stately Chowringhee Road, or about the mag-
nificent public gardens.
Very noticeable was the white, wan look of
every European I met in Calcutta, and the atti-
THE CITY OF PALACES
tude of absolute ease assumed by them, the leis-
urely stroll of the pedestrian, the listless air of
the gentlemen in carriages as they idly turned the
sheets of newspapers, and the languid smile of
the ladies as they passed each other in their even-
The Bengalese appeared to me the finest look-
ing Indian people I had seen, with their large,
dark, lustrous eyes and European features, a
bright-colored silk scarf thrown across the chest
of the men and depending from the left shoulder
adding a charming grace to their costume. The
one defect in their appearance was the greasy
look imparted by the generous quantities of cocoa-
nut oil applied to their hair, which, unlike all the
other peoples of India, they wear uncovered.
A Bengali wedding feast occupied one evening
of our time. The Mission ladies and I, conducted
by a servant with a lantern, groped our way
through dark, narrow alleys, walking carefully
to avoid the sewage gutters on both sides of the
path, until we came to the low-roofed mud house
of the bride's parents. Stooping low to enter the
doorway, we passed through a dimly lighted
room, stepping over dozens of naked, sleeping
babies, left there while their parents enjoyed the
festivities, and came out on the veranda of the
courtyard, where the merriment was at its height.
The wedding- ceremony was ended and the feast
was in progress. We were smilingly greeted by
the bride's mother, and, with a group of learned
Babus — lawyers, clergymen, professors — we sat
on the floor of the rug-covered veranda, eating
with our fingers the delicious curry, rice, and
sweetmeats placed before us, and watching the
gaiety of the wedding guests.
Amid the loud report of firecrackers, the sput-
ter and flare of Roman candles, and the bright
light of red fire matches, young boys danced and
frolicked about the courtyard to the music of
an Indian band, and the shining, dark eyes and
gorgeous costumes of the scores of guests
crowded on the veranda lent added brilliance to
The bricle herself, a slim, pretty girl of four-
teen, surpassed all the others in splendor of cos-
tume. Her sari of pink brocaded silk was draped
over an English blouse of red velvet and rainbow
silk, whose name describes its color ; while a mas-
sive silver ornament in her hair, two immense
gold earrings in each ear, two or three gold and
silver necklaces, several silver bracelets, gold
finger rings galore, and silver toe rings and ank-
lets helped in the bewildering display of light and
color which she presented.
ONE of the dreams of my life had been to
see the Taj Mahal at Agra, and I took
the opportunity to visit Agra before my
return to Sholapur, stopping on the way at Be-
nares, that "holy" city, supposed to rest on the
point of Siva's trident and which for nearly three
thousand years has been the center of Hindu
learning and religious life.
At the station in Benares, an old Mahomedan
guide with flowing magenta beard — the law de-
nies an "old" man a license as a guide, hence the
clever artfulness of the magenta color — entered
my service and, knowing well what the Sahib-log
(English people) wish to see, conducted me at
once to the Ganges. There, from my comfortable
seat on the deck of a boat, which muscular coolies
rowed slowly up and down, I saw the amazing
sights of that wonderful old city.
As we passed the Burning Ghat, three corpses
were burning, each on a fagot pile three or four
feet high, while the mourners sat on one side
v/aiting to throw the ashes into the river, thus ob-
taining for their beloved dead the surety of heav-
en. A white-shrouded figure lay on the edge of
the bank with the water lapping over it, and an-
other was evidently undergoing preparations for
burning. Less than a century ago that Burning
Ghat had been the favorite place for suttee, when
the dead went not alone to paradise.
"Hindus thinking va-a-ary good to die in Be-
nares," remarked my guide, "but it being va-a-ary
Judging from the appearance of the crafty-
eyed priests and the loathsome fakirs, I could
well believe that, once in their clutches, it would
be difficult to escape, dead or alive, without pay-
ing heavy ransom.
From the river we walked to the various tem-
ples. As we passed the devotees, who were pros-
trating themselves before their idols, they drew
their garments aside that they might not be pol-
luted by our touch; and one old woman snarled
savagely as my dress almost brushed against her.
IT was hot noonday when I arrived at Agra,
the ancient capital of Akbar and of Shah
Jehan. Just as at Benares, I found an old
Mahomedan guide with a magenta beard; and
we went immediately to the palace fort. There
we wandered through a maze of rooms and courts
and terraces and pavilions so immense and so
gorgeously decorated that I was glad to come
to the Pearl Mosque and feel the gentle influence
on my spirit of the beauty, the purity, the solem-
nity of that matchless room of prayer.
From the marble terrace where Shah Jehan,
grandest of all the Grand Moguls, used to go at
sunset to gaze on the Taj Mahal and dream of the
lovely woman who had made life for him a para-
dise on earth, I had my first glimpse of the Taj.
Its great white dome and golden crescent shone
through the trees, luring my mind toward the
treat in store for me.
When the sun had passed the zenith I left the
hotel for the Taj and walked the two miles alone,
for I wanted no magenta-bearded guide to thrust
his grotesque Urdu-English between me and this
highest expression in the builders' art of man's
love for woman.
In imagination let me lead all you who are
lovers of the beautiful through the splendid gate-
way into the gardens of the Taj, that you may
feast your own eyes on the glories therein!
Straight before you, but nearly a quarter of a
mile away, gleams the cenotaph of the Begum
Arjamund, so pure and beautiful that you stop
for a moment to make sure it is of earth. It
stands at the end of a long channel of sparkling
water, running the whole length of the garden
and constantly rippled by the series of tiny foun-
tains it contains, each fountain throwing up a
On either side of the water is a row of Italian
cypresses and, exactly halfway along, a marble
terrace with garden seats tempts you to rest and
gaze and dream, while all about you in every
direction stretch the delectable gardens. Could
even the Taj itself have a nobler setting than
these well-ordered groves? The giant banyan
spreads forth its branches and hanging roots;
the stately palm tree reaches toward the heavens ;
and our familiar friends, the roses and the jas-
mine, clamber freely about among the rarest of
trees and shrubs and flowers brought from far
away to grace the scene; butterflies of extraor-
dinary brilliance flutter among the flowers ; while
wee, striped squirrels play hide-and-seek among
the trees and rocks; scarlet birds and birds of
blue and of green form bits of darting color in
the foliage; gorgeous peacocks sweep the soft
grass and flash their bejeweled plumage in the
sun; and the gladsome trill of the biilbid — India's
thrush — fills your very soul with melody.
Passing on down the avenue of cypresses we
draw nearer and nearer the mausoleum until it
stands directly in front of us. From afar it was
beautiful, but now, on closer inspection, it seems
so exquisite that it might have been wrought
from the frostwork on your winter window pane,
flecked here and there with ethereal sunrise
color. Clear-cut against the blue, blue sky
it rises in all its peerless grace, and it is long
before we can tear ourselves away from its fas-
cination to visit the interior.
We enter the doorway and stand in a silent,
softly lighted chamber. Delicately traced in the
fairy mesh of the marble screen inclosing the
tombs, a line of Arabic lettering tells us that "The
Exalted of the Palace lies here," and that "Allah
alone is powerful."
The dome has an echo unrivaled in strength
and purity throughout the world. With clear,
rich voice the grave old Mahomedan caretaker
strikes a few musical notes and, hark! the echo
catches and transforms the soimd into harmony,
swelling, rapturous, which rolls on and on in
lingering sweetness, until we involuntarily look
up to see if some golden-throated choir be hidden
Mrs. Keskar met me at the station with
a beaming welcome, the servants hurried
my baggage into the tonga, and we rode home
together in the cool morning air.
As I entered the compound all the children,
lined up to greet me, sang in chorus their favorite
song of welcome :
"Salaam! Salaam! Salaam! We offer you our
greeting. Peace! May Jesus the Saviour bless
you and with love and kindness daily watch over
you ! Joyfully we offer you our greeting. Peace !
I had been in Sholapur but a few days when a
dark cloud settled over the compound. In the
city the plague had mown down its victims with
ever-increasing fury and now it came to our own
compound. A sudden high fever attacked one of
our baby boys, and, on close examination, we
found a slight swelling under the child's right
arm. In spite of every effort to save him he lived
but a few hours. As he had slept in our room
with his mother for several nights we carefully
disinfected everything. Our people were panic-
stricken; orders were given the cook to prepare
meals in the open air; the children slept outside
the buildings; and all precautions were taken to
prevent the spread of the plague. Fortunately
for us the rigid isolation and disinfection ob-
served by Dr. Keskar saved our people almost
entirely from the terrible epidemic, and it was but
a short time before the immediate danger had
RESPONDING to an invitation from Mrs,
George Nundy, wife of an Indian Doc-
tor of Laws at Hyderabad, Deccan, I
went to Hyderabad and spent a happy week at
the beautiful home of the Nundys. There were
interesting drives in the city, merry frolics with
the children, tennis on the court, quiet walks in
the moonlight, and several social festivities at
the homes of the American missionaries at Se-
cunderabad, a neighboring city, and of British
and Indian Government people at Hyderabad.
In Hyderabad, you feel that you have stepped
into the "Arabian Nights." The shining domes
of great mosques and tombs, and the beautiful
palaces of His Highness, the Nizam, rise above
the blue and red and green and yellow houses of
the city, whose roofs seem almost to meet over
the narrow thoroughfares; a motley crowd of
loud-voiced men and women shuffle slowly along
in rainbow costumes ; and scarlet and gold palan-
quins with curtains drawn close, indicating femi-
nine occupancy, are borne past on the shoulders
of coolies, who trot along at an even gait, chant-
ing the "Palanquin Song" :
"Ho, ho, hung!
Go ah gung !
Ho, ho, hi, hogan!"
Splendid equipages roll by, the gorgeous livery
of the outriders showing that they belong to the
establishment of some wealthy Nabob; hump-
shouldered bullocks no bigger than Shetland
ponies sturdily draw along their little two-
wheeled carts; Arab horses in gay trappings,
bearing lightly on their backs fierce men of the
North armed with murderous looking weapons,
dash through the throng clearing a wide path
before them; camels with long-robed Bedouin
riders pad through the streets; elephants trudge
ponderously on their way with fringed and gilded
howdahs on their backs and the voice of the ma-
hout in their ears, or swing with pendulous mo-
tion behind the fence of their Fel-Khana (the
"livery-stable" for the hundreds of Hyderabad
elephants) ; and the air of the whole city is pen-
etrant with the stale, sweet, oppressive odor of
the Eastern bazaar.
Through the heart of the city rolls the wide
river Musah until it comes out under the long
Bund, the fashionable driveway of the place. On
the outskirts of Hyderabad many large, white
mansions, such as the Nundy residence, stand
back from the highway amid a paradise of bloom;
and huge guns on the crest of the hill, booming
forth the hours as they pass, give the finishing
touch to this wonderful old city.
The ancient Golconda fort and tombs and the
famous diamond mines where the Koh-i-noor
was found, and where Sindbad the Sailor, hold-
ing fast to the diamond-encrusted meat, was
borne to safety by the roc, are a few miles out of
Hyderabad, and, with the Nundys, we drove over
to see them.
We reveled in the delicious coolness of the
gentle Golconda hills, where the Nizam's court
finds a pleasant summer retreat; marveled over
the stonework of the fort and its underground
passages centuries old; and, from the king's
throne on the summit, had a fine view of the sur-
rounding country. Then down we went to see
the tombs, of which there are fifteen or twenty
scattered over the wide plain, several of them
very large and very beautiful.
My stay in Hyderabad was ended and I was
having a thoroughly enjoyable visit with Dr. Ida
Faye Levering of Secunderabad when news came
that the Wesleyan Mission at Medak, sixty miles
from Hyderabad, was sadly in need of a physi-
- JUNGLE DAYS
cian, and that they would Hke me to take the
work. Miss Harris and Miss Posnett, mission-
aries from the Medak Mission, came to Secunder-
abad to meet me, and, when I learned from them
that the medical superintendent of their hospital
was obliged to go to England, leaving a district
of five hundred square miles without a single
qualified physician, the great need appealed to
me, and I decided then and there to go to Medak.
MY INDIAN HOME
MY life at the Keskar Orphanage was
The farewell was a time of grief
and hurry, but at last I tore myself from the arms
of the dear children and ran to the waiting tonga.
On the way to Medak several zenana ladies
traveled with me. As they walked from their
covered carriage to the train they seemed a line
of shrouded ghosts, for all wore the bhoiirka,
a long, full, white cotton cloak reaching to the
ankles, with hood covering the entire head in-
cluding the face, leaving only an embroidered slit
for the eyes. In the railway carriage, safe from
male observation, they removed their "shrouds,"
and, behold! Silks and velvets of cream, dove-
color, heliotrope, green, pink, blue, magenta,
orange, and yellow, with gold and silver em-
broideries and ornaments, and precious jewels
flashing a thousand light rays into my eyes, the
heavy Eastern perfume pervading everything.
At Akanapett, the nearest station to the vil-
lage of Medak, twelve miles farther on, Miss
Harris met me. Breaking our journey by stay-
ing for tlie night at a nearby district dispensary
of the Mission in the village of Ramyanpett, we
started next morning in a bullock tonga for Me-
The big white bullocks trotted along at a good
pace over the rough country road through a land-
scape of rude, desolate charm. In former days
this road was checked on the map of the Thugs as
a place suited for their work. Nowadays a
police thana marks the way every few miles along
the Ramyanpett road to Medak, and there is little
danger from savage men, though savage beasts
still lurk in the deep woods and among the huge
boulders and thick underbrush. Tiger, leopard,
bear, or wolf frequently makes a night attack on
the farmer's stock; and Miss Harris pointed out
the lake where they drink. At that moment a
colony of huge, black-faced, gray monkeys swung
from a tree near the road to another and another
at a prudent distance from us; but one mother
monkey, too proud of her hairless, grimacing
baby to lose such a chance of displaying his
charms, climbed down from the trees, seated her-
self on a roadside rock, with legs hanging in
front of her in a grotesquely human attitude, and
clasped her offspring to her breast, her expression
MY INDIAN HOME
saying plainly: "Saw you ever s.uch another?"
We never had !
We passed the Dhobi's (washermen's) Stream,
and there were the dhobis at work. Each dhobi
selects a flat rock, places it in the stream, dips
the clothes in the water, and slaps them vigor-
ously up and down on the rock. This process is
repeated until the clothes are clean ; they are then
wrung out and spread on bushes by the water
side to dry in the hot sun. A careful folding
serves very well for ironing, for the Indian
clothes are only long, plain pieces of thin ma-
A heap of boulders striped with red and white
chalk marked a "holy place" of the Hindus; and
almost at the end of our journey we passed the
pathetic little Christian cemetery, its mounds
leveled and protected with great flat stones from
the ravages of jackal or hyena.
We reached the Mission settlement near the
village of Medak just at the "dust hour" — the
name the Indians give to the hour of sunset when
the flocks and herds trailing homeward fill the
air with such thick, white clouds of dust that a
fog appears to have settled over the landscape —
and passed directly from the maidan into the big
white carriage gates of my new home in India.
As we entered the gates, the Indian school
children of the Mission came running with smile
and salaam to welcome us. The English people
of the settlement, of whom there were only eight
or ten, met us with more dignity, but with no less
The village of Medak, like the city of Hyder-
abad, is in the district of Hyderabad. This entire
district — larger than the states of New York and
Pennsylvania put together, and consisting of
eleven and a half million inhabitants — is known
as the "Nizam's Dominions," and is under the
control of the Nizam of Hyderabad, a Mussel-
man who, except the Sultan of Turkey, is the
most powerful Moslem ruler in the world. Edu-
cated in England, the Nizam, although oriental
in many ways, has broad, advanced ideas, and is
loved and honored by the strange conglomeration
of peoples that make up his subjects.
Indian rulers such as the Nizam have only
limited power in their kingdoms. Without the
consent of the British Government they cannot
declare war or peace nor enter into agreements
with other states, although they retain a certain
military force of their own. In the case of the
Nizam's Dominions, however, no European but
the British Resident may reside in the state with-
out special permission of the Nizam; and there
MY INDIAN HOME
is no British interference in the government ex-
cept in case of excessive misrule.
Our Mission compound stands on high ground
and is surrounded by a lonely, wildly beautiful
landscape. On three sides, the maidan stretches
off into the distance, its monotony broken here
and there by rock or tree. Down below and just
in front lies a placid blue lake where white and
yellow lotus lilies float. Noble trees line the
banks of the lake, the densely shadowing mango
and banyan, the tamarind whose green, lacey fo-
liage would delight the heart of a Corot, and the
majestic date-palm towering high above them all
against a sky shimmering with its intense blue
and gold. Beyond are rice fields, more vividly
green than the young rye of New England ; and
then, straight up for three or four hundred feet,
rises a hill with immense boulders tumbled all
over it, these boulders and the tall grass sur-
rounding them sheltering hundreds of beasts of
prey. The ruins of a stone fort and temple cen-
turies old crown the summit of the hill, and at
its foot are the little mud houses of Medak with
a few structures of greater pretensions.
With striking distinctness in the midst of this
scene stand out the white, well-constructed build-
ings of the Mission compound, set in the midst
of pleasant, fertile gardens and fields.
In the large and comfortable bungalows each
of us had a suite of two rooms, shared by the
sparrows and bats which built their nests on a
ledge just beneath the high ceiling of white-
washed canvas, so that you almost felt you were
camping out, the noise and dirt of the winged in-
truders adding to the realism.
The gardens were an entrancing mass of sweet-
scented bloom and blazing color — red, orange,
yellow, purple — with enough cool green and white
to soften the beauty and add to it, while bright-
plumaged birds and birds of somber hue called
and sang everywhere and over the entrance gate-
way arched two pipal trees which rustled cease-
lessly with a sound like gentle rain falling on the
glistening leaves, deep green and silver lined.
The pipal tree is the sacred tree of India, the bo-
tree under which Buddha meditated, and under
whose shade it is said no lie can be told.
My Indian nurses proved to be bright, clean,
helpful young women, but Abbishakamma, chief
compounder and chief Bible-woman, far sur-
passed them. Her wavy gray hair, which no
amount of cocoanut oil would compel to smooth-
ness, her dimples, and her merry brown eyes
gave her a pleasing comeliness ; while her general
ability, her kindly cheerfulness, her never-failing
loyalty, and her familiarity with the English
MY INDIAN HOME
language and with seven or eight of the In-
dian languages made her an invaluable assistant.
During prayer-service one morning, as Abbish-
akamma sat cross-legged on a large rug with a
group of patients gathered about her, she talked
to them with so much feeling and they listened
with such unusual attention that I asked Miss
Wigfield what the Bible-woman was telling
"That is Abbishakamma's favorite tale," re-
plied Miss Wigfield. "It is of Elizabeth and her
joy over her son. That one story, as Abbisha-
kamma tells it, has brought us more patients, and
has given the patients more faith in the Christian
religion, than any other story in the Bible; for
the supreme desire of every Indian woman is to
have a son ; and they would be glad indeed to wor-
ship any god who could grant them that desire."
India's need would appeal to a heart of stone.
Some of the poor creatures who came to us for
help had traveled for a week in a springless road-
cart; others had walked sixty miles in the broil-
ing sun. And the childlike attitude of the peo-
ple toward us was pathetic. A dear old coolie
woman said one night in the prayer meeting:
"Oh, God, the white people have come to us from
over the sea. They have given us much and
helped us much. Give them strength to help us
more !" They either feared us and tried to avoid
us altogether, or they reverenced us as gods who
held absolute power of life and death over them.
I could stand being called their "grandmother,"
their "queen," or their "goddess," but when one
of them would rub her forehead on my dusty
shoes with the cry : "I am your slave ; I kiss your
feet!" I usually had an impulse almost irresist-
ible to put one foot on her neck and fold my arms
with a superior glance upward like the Roman
gladiator. Again, when one buried her head in
my solar plexus I felt that Tmust follow the ex-
ample of the babies at home under like circum-
stances by squealing and grabbing a wisp of her
hair. I knew, however, that this was but the ori-
ental manner and meant much the same as a sim-
ple handshake in America.
I imagine that the strong races which swept
down from the North to war against the people
of Hyderabad District found them an easy con-
In appearance they are small and delicately
built, especially the women, with brown skin and
finely cut features, and their dress and general
customs are those of the other Hindus of India.
The religion of the Dravidians, who originally
possessed the Hyderabad country, was an almost
unmixed form of devil worship; but now, the
MY INDIAN HOME
religion of the Deccan folk, their descendants,
who call themselves Hindus, is a combination of
devil worship, Hinduism and Buddhism.
As to character and conduct, the people have
inherited docility, subtlety, timidity, and an at-
tractive gentleness. In brief, if you will imagine
the exact opposite of a typical American of the
United States, you will have the East Indian as
he appeared to me. The more I saw of India,
the more I was convinced that
. . . East is East and West is West, and never
the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great
Fortunately for us and for them we do not
expect them to become like us in the unimportant
details. We do, however, want them to be not
beasts of the field, but men.
THE rains were late that first year at Me-
dak and the peasants said that a hun-
dred people must be kidnapped and
killed and their blood allowed to float down the
river to appease Gunga, goddess of rain. When
the blood should reach a certain point, the anger
of the goddess would depart and the rains would
break. The attempt to secure the hundred people
for the sacrifice threw the district into terror.
Nobody went out alone after dark; and when,
one night, a strange man came up and caught the
hand of one of our schoolgirls who had wan-
dered a short distance from the others out on the
rnaidan, all the compound thought she escaped
being a victim only through her screams, which
immediately brought our coolies to the rescue.
Because of this lack of rain, the rice crop suf-
fered and the people were heavy-hearted. Every
evening and far into the night we could hear the
unceasing song of the village women as they wor-
shiped their gods, the monotonous hand-clapping
and chanting, "Send us rain! Send us rain!"
But at last the rainy season came. It was
necessary to protect our shoes and other articles
of leather from the heavy mold which daily
formed upon them, as well as from the white ants
which worked their devastation at all times of
year. Once, on returning from a three days' ab-
sence, I found the clay trail of the white ants on
my best medical case, and, M^hen I investigated,
a long strip of its leather tore off and crumbled
in my hand.
Other entomological specimens come with the
rains. The mantis, green in color and two or
three times as big as a grasshopper, looks like
four animated leaves fastened together by the
stems. Because of its habit of standing on its
hind leaves and folding its front leaves together
as if in prayer, it is called, "the praying one."
Another, the "stick insect," measuring some three
inches from tip to tip, and having three pairs of
legs, I have frequently mistaken for a few wisps
of dried grass, until, on brushing it away, I
have been astonished to see it pick itself up and
walk off. The locusts, reddish-brown with pink
gauzy wings, are beautiful, a swarm of them
having the appearance of a rose-pink cloud sail-
ing through the air. But they are frightfully
destructive, sometimes wreaking famine-produc-
ing havoc among the crops. This is easily under-
stood when it is known that an army of locusts
was at one time measured and found to be fifty
miles wide, half a mile from front to rear, eighty
feet high, and swarming densely.
It was after a hard shower that I saw from the
dispensary door some animals hopping about in
the wet road. At first glance I thought them wild
hares, but on closer inspection found them to
be frogs, the biggest I had ever seen.
"Yes," said the Indian nurses, awestruck,
"every year they rain down from the sky."
The rain and wind of a fierce storm dulled
all minor sounds when one midnight a cry,
"Thieves !" woke everybody in the compound, and
in less time than it takes to tell it we were flying
hither and thither with lights and sticks and guns.
A burglar had broken into the hospital and
stolen the head nurse's money and most of her
clothes. He had rifled the storerooms throughout
the compound, getting away with heavy booty.
Afterward we learned that several of us had nar-
rowly escaped death. The thief confessed in
court that he had for several seconds bent over
the sleeping form of the head nurse, prepared
to stab her should she wake ; and that, when Miss
Posnett and I were searching for him in the hos-
pital garden, we had come so near him at one
time that he held his dagger prepared to kill us
should we advance another step in his direction.
When the matter of the burglary was reported
to the police of Medak, they, as usual, sat down
apathetically, remarking, in regard to the matter,
"What can we do?" But not so Mr. Hankin,
their superintendent, an Englishman and one of
the most competent police officials in India. When
he saw no effort was made to find the culprit,
he commanded that the salary of every one of
his subordinates be withheld until the thief should
be found. Instantly they set to work and within
a few days the criminal was lodged in jail.
We were told that the burglar underwent the
"tortures" before he would confess.
These tortures are worthy of the genius of the
American Indian in that line. His jailers place
red pepper in a man's eyes and violently rub
them; they place scorpions in the orifices of his
body; they thrust poison thorns into the orifices;
they compel the prisoner to don leather trousers
and then place in the trousers two wild, half-
starved cats, allowing them to fight until they
have torn themselves and the man's legs nearly
The "cat torture" broke down the obstinacy
of our burglar, and he told of an old, unused
well in the jungle where he had hidden the goods.
There, sure enough, they were, though many ar-
ticles were ruined.
The culprit was convicted and underwent se-
vere punishment. His conviction would prob-
ably not have been so easy a matter had he pos-
sessed money, for the courts of Hyderabad Dis-
trict are corrupt to the core. Two annas (four
cents) is the recognized price for a court witness,
and for this he will perjure himself as long as
anybody cares to listen.
After the burglary, a watchman was hired to
parade the compound all night long. Every
night, when I went to the hospital for midnight
rounds, I stepped over him as he lay asleep on
the doorstep with his lantern and stick beside
OUR INDIAN FRIENDS
OUR Telugu shastri (professor), who used
to come every day to teach us the lan-
guage, was, as far as I can learn, a
type of the Indian Brahman educated according
to India's ancient ideals. His smooth-shaven
face, his manner of dressing his hair — shaved
all but the crown, and the hair of the crown
gathered in a tight coil at the back — his plain,
round, dark felt cap, and the flowing drapery
of his white dhoti gave him a peculiarly femi-
nine appearance. The umbrella he constantly
carried had no special connection with rain or
sun, but was a mark of rank, while the dark,
heavy cord over his shoulder proclaimed that
rank as highest — a "twice-born" Brahman. Al-
ways when he came to our bungalow we knew
that under the closely fitting coat, which he wore
in deference to our ideas of propriety, the cord
lay over the right shoulder. This meant that he
was "unclean," for he could not eat or worship
until he had finished his morning's task with the
no-caste Christians. If we chanced to meet him
in the afternoon, the cord rested on his left
shoulder and we knew he was sacred and un-
When he came to teach us, he would retain his
hat but politely remove his shoes, as he bowed
low with a deep-voiced ''Salaam, Datira Sahni
Gahru!" (Greeting Honorable Madam!)
Among his own people the shastri was con-
sidered a profound scholar. He thoroughly un-
derstood Sanscrit and Telugu, and could recite
in those languages verses by the yard; he knew
every detail of the lives of the Hindu gods, but
he never heard of Jupiter or Thor. He told me
one day of a sea of milk which surrounds the
"Northern World." When I asked him if he
knew that the earth was round, he smiled scorn-
"That is a belief for you Western people only;
you have many strange beliefs!"
He was versed in Telugu art, but if we showed
him a picture painted by an English artist — were
it landscape or still life — he would turn it upside
down, sidewise, and every other way, until at
last he seemed satisfied — usually when it was up-
side down. Gazing at it long and attentively, he
would remark gravely, "Very fine!" and put it
OUR INDIAN FRIENDS
"What is it, Shastri Gahru?" we would ask.
"I don't know what it is," he would reply, "but
it is evidently very fine work."
Some one has asked me why the Indian Brah-
mans, known to be people of refinement and edu-
cation, do not establish universities of their own
instead of importing Western teachers. Our
shastri is the answer. From reading and ques-
tioning, I learn that there are probably few In-
dians, unless they have had Western teaching,
more broadly educated than the shastri. He was
progressive withal. Miss Tombleson, one of our
missionaries, used to visit Hindu and Mahom-
edan houses of Medak, telling Bible stories and
singing hymns. Always, when some new house
opened its doors to her, the shastri was unques-
"But why are you pleased, Shastri Gahru?"
she inquired one day. "You know I am working
against your religion."
"Yes, I know, I know, but I like to see any
good work thrive." This inconsistency is truly
Hindu. Logic is no part of the Hindu's makeup.
Should you say to him, "Black is white," he would
reply, with bowed head, "If you say it is so, it
is so! Why should not black be white?"
Another explanation of the shastri's attitude
toward the Christians' work is that the Hindu
has no wish to propagate his religion, and no
hatred of other reHgions unless they interfere
with his caste laws, which are his physical, men-
tal, and moral life, and a sin against which is to
him the only sin!
Even Mahomedan prejudice against our mis-
sion work is not nearly so strong as might be
expected. From the time when the successful
medical work of the mission had conquered his
prejudice against the Christians, Syed-Shar-
Sahib, the Mahomedan High Priest of Medak,
whom we always affectionately called **Dadu
Badsha," had been our firm friend, and by his
loyal words and letters had won openings for our
work into many hostile villages. At one time he
gave a feast to our outcaste orphans, and, to show
them his kindly feeling, he passed among them
when they ate and with his own hand gave to
each child a morsel of food, although to touch
an outcaste Hindu is, to a Mahomedan, repulsive
beyond anything we of the West can imagine.
There was much pomp and ceremony in the
marriage festival of Dadu Badsha's daughter.
Notwithstanding the wealth and high social po-
sition of our host, we were asked, according to
custom when we Western people were invited to
Indian houses, to bring our own food and chairs
OUR INDIAN FRIENDS
and table linen. This we did, not forgetting some
pieces of pink toilet soap, for we knew we should
be met at the zetiana door by the High Priest's
seven-year-old niece, who always begged for pink
"If I wash with your kind of soap," she would
say, "I shall be made happy by becoming pink
like you." We told her the soap would make no
difference, and that her own color — a velvety
brown — was much prettier, but she was not con-
One of the bits of soap was intended for Dow-
lat, a Telugu slave child, who used to plead as
eagerly for it as did her mistress. Dowlat was
sold to the zenana in her infancy; but the light-
hearted child with frowsy hair and filthy clothing
felt no discontent with regard to her lot in life.
Having never known loving care, she probably
never missed it. Then, too, the Mahomedans are
not, as a rule, unkind to their slaves, merely in-
different. Among the three hundred and more
persons who made up Dadu Badsha's household,
there was, as is usual in Mahomedan domestic
life, a pleasant democracy, the slaves and hired
servants eating with the family and sharing sym-
pathetically in the family joys and sorrows. Dow-
lat's only unhappiness came from her dissatisfac-
tion with her complexion, which was of a shade
but Httle less sooty than soot.
The wedding festivity proved altogether suc-
cessful, although it grew a little wearisome when
the Nautch girls had danced before us for an
hour or two. These dancing girls are born into
their profession, as is everybody in India, and
are trained from babyhood to their immoral life,
for the Nautch girls are wedded to the temples,
that is, are prostitutes. Nevertheless, they suffer
no reproach, are entertained with perfect cordial-
ity in the houses of virtuous married women of
every rank, and are treated with courtesy and
respect by the men.
A young Nautch girl who came to our hos-
pital for treatment, amazed when we asked her if
she would not like to lead the pure life of a mar-
ried woman, replied lightly, ''Why? I am happy !
Besides, I was born to the caste of temple girl.
What can one do?"
At this wedding feast given by Dadu Badsha
neither the dancing nor the songs were objection-
able, and I learn they seldom are, unless men only
are present. A fat, old person — the "Elephant,"
they called her — was the leader, and despite her
weight and age was decidedly graceful. She
trained well all the four younger women who ac-
companied her, often stopping in the midst of
OUR INDIAN FRIENDS
some sentimental song to snap out a criticism of
their voices or gestures. She rolled her eyes,
frowned, and smiled, wonderfully contorted her
eyebrows and mouth, moved her hands and arms
from side to side and over her head in gestures
mild or passionate, while she sang in the harsh-
est of cracked voices, and her ankle bells kept
time — a slow, steady "clink-clink-clink" — to the
music of sitar and drum. The dancers in shabby
saris, but with costly jewels, chewed betel nut
and had little laughing asides as if they were
taking part in an undress rehearsal.
It was some variety when two Hyderabad
girls took the place of the others. One, a girl
of seventeen, with a handsome, wicked face; the
other, a mite of seven, who clashed her anklet
bells and danced heel and toe with the biggest
The wedding gifts and the outfit of the bride
and of the bridegroom were very rich and gay,
for in India the groom is not, as at home, a sec-
ondary consideration. There were gold and sil-
ver and jewels, silks and velvets and fine linens,
and some dainty hand embroidery wrought by
the bride herself.
We women were permitted to see the bride,
who sat on a crimson velvet couch, a crimson,
gold-embroidered shawl completely covering her.
For forty days and nights she might see no face
but her husband's; so when the elder sister al-
lowed us to peep beneath the shawl, the eyes of
the bride were downcast, but the mouth told us
that she realized, with the childish delight of her
thirteen years, her importance on the grand occa-
sion. At the real wedding ceremony a day or two
later, which I did not witness, the bride was rep-
resented by a man, and the entire service was
with this proxy.
AMERICAN THANKSGIVING DAY IN INDIA
IN India, America's Thanksgiving Day comes
during the "melancholy days"; the hedge
flowers have lost their brightest pink and
blue, and the grass and trees look faded and yel-
low in an unlovely old age. The day Vv^as always,
of course, a very ordinary one to everybody but
With contrasting memories in my mind, let
me tell you how I spent my first Thanksgiving
Day in India.
Before the sun was well up, I tumbled out of
my cot on the veranda and ran into my dressing-
room. I had scarcely finished dressing when I
heard on the other side of the door some one
cough. As that is the usual way the noiseless-
footed Indian servants announce their presence,
I asked who was there. Venkiti, our assistant
butler, made response, informing me that the
other ladies had gathered at the table, and that
whenever my Honor pleased I could be served
with chota hazrai.
Chota finished, Miss Harris and I started
in a native cart for Medak village to visit a
woman who for days had been very sick. Curl-
ing our feet under us and sitting carefully, one
in front of the other, in the middle of the cart
to give leeway to our bobbing heads, we jolted
over the rough road. Though the descent from
these bandies, the only escape from which is
over a high board at the back, appears more
courageous than elegant, we were equal to the oc-
casion, and, after a due exercise of forethought
and gymnastics, found our feet solidly on the
With bent heads to avoid the rafters, we en-
tered the dark, close room where the patient lay.
As is usual in any case of illness, the room was
full of men and women. Ten women rushed to
bring a light, or, rather, a hemi-demi-semi-light,
for the Indian lamp gives the brilliant glare of
an ordinary match with a London fog of smoke
The sick girl, staring at us with dazed, fright-
ened eyes, crouched in a far corner with the be-
seeching cry, "Don't take me to the hospital!"
We laughed her out of her fears — real fears to
her, for the report had spread through the vil-
lage that the English people had planned to offer
a human sacrifice at the hospital so that luck
, h\ \\T
Indian carpenters at work
String bed of India, the common sleeping cot
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
might come to the place — and at last she drank
the medicine we gave her and lay down to rest.
We were scarcely out of the house before an
excited Brahman rushed up to us.
''Come quickly! Sitamma is dying!"
In his home, Sitamma, his child-wife of thir-
teen years, who had long suffered from an incur-
able disease, had been moved from the bed to
the ground, for a Brahman must die on mother
earth. Her face, once round and smiling, was
pinched and drawn with pain, and the hollow
eyes piteously besought our help as her arms
reached out to us to come nearer. Her mother,
scarcely more than a girl herself, stood by in
silent despair, the tears flooding her eyes, and
her sari drawn tightly over her mouth. Gath-
ered about her stood four or five old Brahman
widows, unjeweled and unjacketed, with shorn
gray hair and in saris of coarse white muslin. A
boy cousin of twelve, bewitchingly beautiful, his
supple young body set off to advantage by a
white loin cloth, his only garment, leaned against
a pillar, watching, solemn-eyed, our every move-
ment. Twenty other friends and relatives were
there, all the women and children wailing loudly
and the men standing silently, searching our
faces for signs of hope.
Sitamma's family was one of the best in
Medak. Rich ornaments of gold and jewels
hung about her neck, her arms, her ankles, en-
circled her fingers and toes, and pierced her nose
and ears; and her clothes were of finest silk.
But the room where she lay was devoid of furni-
ture, mud-floored and rough-raftered. In a
crevice of the dirty, white-washed wall was a
crude, red-painted idol surrounded by offerings
of fruits and vegetables, and with lamps burn-
ing before it. Over the crevice a number of
cheap advertising cards were pasted, and, crown-
ing all, a gaudily colored photograph of an Eng-
lish actor and actress.
When we had done what we could to ease
the sick girl's distress and had passed out of the
house, we could scarcely proceed for the num-
ber of people coming up, among them, Sitam-
ma's great-great-grandmother, another Brah-
man widow, bent double and leaning on a stout
stick for support, her shrill, cracked voice rising
higher than all the rest in long-drawn wails for
Back to the dispensary and hospital duties!
One of our hospital in-patients was a baby
boy who had been so terribly mutilated by a
pariah dog that he almost died before our long
fight at last brought strength and health to the
little body and a crooked smile to the red lips.
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
Two others were victims of the habit among
Mahomedans of giving their children opium in
large quantities. Of these patients, one boy was
three years old, the other, four months, but there
was little difference in their size. They greatly
improved under treatment, and the elder could,
when he left the hospital, waddle weakly about
on his spindle legs, his big goblin head rolling
considerably but containing on its anterior as-
pect a Cheshire cat expression.
A patient suffering with rheumatic fever of
the arm had been told by a hakim that the pain
was caused by poison thorns placed in her flesh
by evil persons. To prove his diagnosis, he had
shown her a handful of thorns which he pre-
tended to have extracted from her arm during
his examination of her. Nothing we said could
change the girl's conviction that the thorns had
been in her arm, only she wondered why she felt
no better after their extraction.
Another case was that of a young woman who
came to us with acute indigestion. When I made
my rounds she asked: ''How soon can you cut
me open and take it out?"
"Take it out!" I repeated. 'Take what out?"
"Why," she exclaimed, "you are a doctor;
you have felt my pulse ; surely you know what ails
me ! A priest told me that an enemy had placed
the stone image of a god in my stomach, and I
want that stone image cut out!"
We pleaded and reasoned with her all in vain.
She left the hospital in search of some doctor
who would cut her open and take out the god.
The five-year-old son of a Mahomedan of-
ficial of Medak was one of our most grateful
patients. We had been obliged to lance two
boils on his leg, and, at the last cut, the child
raised both arms to heaven, and, turning his
tear-stained face upward, cried out, *'0h, God,
God, what a sick man am I! Why hast Thou
deserted me? Relieve me of this agony! Take
me to Thyself! I can bear no more!" When a
soothing dressing had been applied, however,
the pain vanished and he smiled through his
tears, promising magnificent presents for us all.
Far more cause for gratitude had the bonny
boy of two, whose eyelid healed well although it
was gashed in half a dozen places by the horn
of an angry bull. Mercifully, the eye was spared.
Every day, while I applied medicine and dress-
ings to his eyelid, the wee lad howled himself
hoarse; and every day my eyes were wet with
tears over the plump, naked, brown baby who
had to suffer such pain, and who, after the dress-
ings were ended, would spring with a tearful
smile straight into my arms, and lay his loving,
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
forgiving head on my shoulder as I carried him
to his mother.
Amadbhi, a Mahomedan girl-wife, had been
for weeks a patient in our hospital. We al-
lowed her young husband, who waited im-
patiently for her recovery, to make his home on
our front veranda — a neat, little bachelor home,
all in the space of a few feet, with a blanket for
a bed, his own turban for a pillow, a clay lamp,
and a little pile of pots and pans for cooking
his simple meals. He was always spotless in
appearance, for there was a lake close by and
on the flat stones he pounded his garments clean,
hanging them to dry on the bushes along the
bank. Several times a day, Amadbhi donned
her hhourka, thus hiding her face from all other
men, and crept around to cheer her young hus-
band in his solitude, until at last she recovered
and they went their happy way.
A charming Mahomedan princess of Hydera-
bad, who had been at various times a patient of
ours, made a pretty picture as she reclined on
her bed with her pet fawn — a wide blue ribbon
tied in a bow about his slender neck — snuggling
against her. This princess gave us, in gratitude
for treatment received, land in one of her own
villages on which to build a chapel, and free per-
mission to preach Christianity throughout the
We had a young Arab woman as a patient in
our hospital. The Arabs are a manly race, with
the deserved reputation of being *'a faithful
friend and a dreaded foe." Their costume is
very picturesque; a short, striped skirt reaching
barely to the knee, a turban to match, the end
streaming to the waist at the back, long coat of
white muslin, low shoes with toes turning back
in long points toward the ankle, and belt-sash
stuck full of pistols and dirks ornamented with
gold and silver and jewels. Every day the hus-
band and brothers of our Arab patient came to
see her, one of the big fellows always sitting out-
side her door at night to keep watch over her
One of these Arabs asked me if I would open
an abscess for him. Calling to mind the shrink-
ing, cowering Hindu when anything surgical is
in evidence, I warned the Arab, as I picked up
my knife, to sit quite still, and added in soothing
tones: ''It will hurt but a second!" He smiled
"I am not a child. Doctor Mem Sahib; I do
not fear pain!"
And he smiled on, never flinching, during the
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
The idol of all these Arab giants and of their
kinswoman was her baby Esau. Like a group
of children, they would gather about and watch
intently every time little Esau was fed his pre-
pared food from a nursing bottle.
"This matter of bottle-feeding," said the
father, "is from your country. No one in India
would have thought of it!"
Rama, a Brahman boy of thirteen, with deli-
cate hands and feet like a girl's and with an af-
fectionate, gentle manner and an engaging smile
that sent him straight into the hearts of all who
knew him, suffered with diseased feet so that
for two years he was altogether unable to walk.
His father, a hakim (Indian herbalist), who had
vainly made every effort to cure the boy, hated
our Mission from both professional and religious
jealousy, and it severely humbled his pride when
he brought his son to our hospital and begged us
to attempt his cure. The serious operation we
performed was, happily, successful, and when
the boy could run about as merrily as any other
laddie, the father seemed to put aside his last
bit of resentment and suspicion in regard to us.
When I visited Rama's room the evening be-
fore he left usj he sat on his bed surrounded by
his adoring father and his four adoring uncles —
Rama is the only boy in all the family — who
listened with admiration while he sang in his
shrill voice the old Hindu songs they love.
Notwithstanding the Brahman fashion of
wearing his hair — shaved all but the crown — and
the wide red and yellow caste marks on his fore-
head, Rama looked almost beautiful as, with
shining eyes, he cuddled close in his arms the
English doll we had given him, a blue-eyed lady
in a pink dress, to whose finery he had added
garlands of white jasmine. As I entered the
room, Rama and the elder gentlemen rose v*^ith
profound salaams and the boy laughingly threw
a long jasmine garland about my neck and made
his dollie salaam to me.
As I patted the lad's head and tweaked the
long, sacred lock hanging from his crown, he
laid his cheek against my arm and murmured in
his pretty oriental way: "To-morrow I shall be
at home and very happy, but I shall miss the dear
white ladies. When you say good-night with
those loving words and caress me thus, a great
peace like the soft wings of a bird closes over
my spirit and I sleep well and sweetly."
More and more did I wonder, as the days went
by, that we had patients from any other place
than our own village of Medak, because of the
difficulties and peril in reaching us.
Ramavva, a high caste Hindu woman, used
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
to come to us every few months for treatment,
caring nothing that, to do this, she had to ride
alone for three days on the back of a buffalo
through the rough, lonely jungle.
When she arrived at the hospital one night,
she told us an incident of her journey :
"You know," she began, ''that I have learned
many Bible stories and Christian hymns here at
your hospital, and at home I tell my family the
tales and sing the hymns for them. By the tale
which I will now relate, you will perceive that
I am a Christian at heart, though I implore you
to tell no one, for I wish to have no domestic
"As I journeyed toward the hospital yester-
day, I was passing through the woods when I
saw a camp of Dacoities (Hindus who are born
to the caste of robber and murderer) among the
rocks. They were very near, and I feared they
had already heard my buffalo trampling and that
I was lost. Then I remembered the words of
the Christians, and, jumping down from my bul-
lock, I knelt on the grass and prayed: 'O Jcsu
Swami (Lord Jesus), save me!' When I arose,
I looked, and behold ! the wicked men had not no-
ticed my approach, so I quietly led my buffalo a
roundabout way and came on in safety."
Ward rounds ended, I went to the dispensary.
Kadrabhi was the first to greet us. Kadrabhi
was a Mahomedan woman of rank and, therefore,
had to keep gosha. Too poor to own a curtained
zenana bandy, she would come afoot in the dark-
ness of the early morning and out again when
the sun had gone.
Then the patients came in force, plucking our
sleeves, crowding upon us, and shouting their
symptoms in loud tones, until we laughingly cov-
ered our ears with our bands and our nurses
brought them to order.
A large, muscular woman showed us a re-
cent fracture of the wrist, with hand swollen to
a ball. We removed the peacock feather which
she had tied about her wrist for good luck, and
prepared for treatment. Suddenly terror seized
her, and before we could stop her she had fled.
Another woman who had been holding over
her face the corner of her sari drenched with
blood, removed the cloth, disclosing a hideous
mutilation. Her husband, to punish her for in-
fidelity, had, as is customary in such cases, cut
off her nose.
One of our coolie women brought to us her
"Will you burn her stomach, please. Honor-
able Doctor Madam?"
In the Medak Dispensary. Offerings of a grateful patient (child),
sheep and garlands. Mother in bhourka. Dr. Munson
holds child on her knee.
Mahomedan Madas bringing gratitude offering of sheep garlanded
with flowers. Dr. Munson seated-
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
*'Why?" I asked in amazement, for the child
was in perfect health.
"Oh, it will keep her well. My stomach was
burned when I was a baby, and see how well I
am," and she proudly displayed three wide ugly
scars on her brown skin.
Will the Indian hakims ever realize for how
much their ignorance is responsible?
A child was brought to us with her eyelids
nearly burned through for a simple inflamma-
tion. When I asked her mother what other treat-
ment the eyes had received besides the burning,
she replied: *'The hakim has done all things
known to him. The last treatment was red pep-
per to be rubbed into the eyes every hour."
A day later came a baby boy struggling with
agony in his mother's arms, the delicate flesh of
his abdomen so deeply burned that the bowel
slightly protruded and made his death inevitable.
Five-year-old Mahomedan Madas was brought
to us with his cheek torn open from nose to ear
and deep down to the bone where one of the vi-
cious Indian ponies had bitten him. The village
hakim had put foul dressings on the wound till it
was thoroughly poisoned and the child was dan-
gerously ill. Every day he had to undergo a
very painful treatment, but he seemed to know
we were trying to help him, for only a low moan
now and then betrayed his suffering. Madas
must have felt that the last Thursday in Novem-
ber was a day of special gratitude, for that morn-
ing he, with his mother and aunt, walked into
the dispensary, leading by a rope of grass a large
black sheep garlanded with wild flowers. The
boy bowed to the ground in his salaam, and as
he placed the leading rope in my hand, lisped:
"Because you made me well, dear Doctor Mem
Sahib, I now with deep gratitude present to you
We heard a sound of wheels and a loud shuf-
fling in the courtyard as a zenana handy, cov-
ered over with plaited straw and closely cur-
tained, emptied its contents. Whenever a
zenana handy emptied its contents, I felt inclined
to doubt the old axiom, *'No two bodies of matter
can occupy the same space at the same time."
After the piatient, an old lady with chronic indi-
gestion, had been helped out, there slowly clam-
bered to the ground women with their head cov-
ering thrown back as if in enjoyment of the
untainted air of heaven; ornaments covering
nose, ears, forehead, neck, arms, ankles, lingers,
and toes, chinking heavily as they walked; and,
in almost every instance, plump babies sat astride
their hips. Then there tumbled out small boys
in red fez and long, white coat and trousers; and
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
girls in gay pajamas and short over-garment of
coarse net, their bodies loaded with ornaments
like their elders. Bonny youngsters these who
seized our hands and danced around us begging
for a rose or a doll or a sweet, their black eyes
looking out of chubby olive faces, full of a win-
ning impudence. But they had learned courtesy,
too, for nothing was received without a clear-
voiced "Salaam, Doctor Mem Sahib!" and a
graceful bend from the waist, as the right hand
was pressed to the forehead.
Then came the usual equipment of a patient
who expects to remain in the hospital: Brass
cooking utensils of every imaginable size and
shape, rice, clarified butter, vegetables for cur-
ries, other foodstuffs, and then a pile of wraps
In these matters our hospital had to depart
from strict Western discipline. Unless the fam-
ily, or at least one or two members of it, had
been allowed to move in with all the parapher-
nalia necessary to light housekeeping, we should
have had no patients in our hospital. In a way
it was a help, because, never having enough
nurses and other hospital assistants, we resigned
much of the care of the patient to her family with,
of course, careful supervision by our own nurses.
Very different from the Mahomedan children
was the naked Hindu boy close by, who, with
the sacred lock of his crown hanging listlessly
from his shorn head, shrank behind his mother
with a wail of fright at the strange white faces.
Another fracture and another hakim treat-
ment! The boy's hand was badly swollen, the
arm bound in a vise, and the fracture not reduced
at all. This time the sufferer was a Brahman
boy, and, when the arm was neatly dressed and
bound, his mother, who had accompanied him,
inquired: ''How can he bathe?"
"Let him bathe the rest of his body, but leave
that one arm," I replied.
"Then he cannot eat," she argued, "for he is
a Brahman." And she departed with a look on
her face which plainly said, "Fracture or no
fracture, that arm shall be washed before he
touches a morsel of food." I have no doubt that
twice daily our dressings were soaked with water
if not entirely removed.
At the far corner of the men's veranda
crouched a tall Hindu, now fingering his necklet
of snakes' vertebrae and now a written charm —
mantrum — in a brass box tied around his arm.
His eyes were wide with terror and his lips
scarcely able to frame a request to have an
abscess cut. His baby son had just been cured
of an abscess covering nearly the whole leg, and
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
the man's confidence in our healing powers had
overbalanced his fear of the knife sufficiently to
bring him to us.
"Now, have courage," I exclaimed, "and it will
be over in a second."
"Oh, no, oh, no!" he howled. "Give me
sleeping medicine as you gave to my little boy.
I have no courage; I shall die!"
So a whiff or two of chloroform, a quick cut, a
simple dressing, and all was over, and the grate-
ful fellow pressed his forehead to our shoes.
"And how did you say I am to take this medi-
cine?" inquired an old woman to whom I had
already given clearest directions in my best
"Four days, eight doses, one dose every morn-
ing, one dose every evening."
"Salaam, honorable lady, I am your slave; it
is four doses and every evening I shall drink."
"No, eight doses, four days."
"Yes, my honorable grandmother, I kiss your
feet; I shall drink in the morning and not in the
evening, for eight days."
"No," desperately. "Now listen! Four days,
eight doses, every day two doses, one in the morn-
ing and one in the evening. Good-by! Salaam!"
"Salaam, my queen of queens! I will do as
you say and will not drink in the morning or in
the evening, but in the noonday for eight days."
And off she went, repeating and re-repeating
the directions with her own variations, and I
could only feel grateful that the remedy was
harmless and her mode of taking it mattered
A few more malarias and bronchitises, two
major surgical operations, and then breakfast,
which consisted of fruit, followed by curry and
rice and always tea.
After breakfast came the noonday rest-time,
when all the Indian world sleeps and the very in-
sects seem to hold their breath.
Nap ended, I went out to tea, which, like chota
hazrai, was a simple meal — fruit, bread, cakes,
jam and tea.
Another look at the patients, and then I gal-
loped off to make my afternoon visits in the vil-
lage, my syce, with one hand on the stirrup, run-
ning beside the horse.
In the West, what a record in cross-country
running the Indian syce would make !
Our Davadass, a man of fifty years, has run
one hundred miles in two days — fifty miles, a
night's rest, and then the other fifty. It was a
pleasure to watch him as, with dhoti bound
tightly around the loins, he would run on and on
Dr. INIunson operating in Medak Hospital
Corner of medical ward, ^ledak Hospital. Dr. Munson
with head nurse and patients.
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
with swift rhythmical gait that never seemed to
Dinner was at half past seven — my Thanks-
giving dinner! The turkey at home was repre-
sented by jugged goat which, though not so
strongly flavored with circus posters as might
be expected, required some skill and experience
in the art of mastication. I looked wistfully on
while the others ate with relish such barbarities
as tahku (the Indian hot flavoring agent), kah-
ram curry (it is a wonder there was any skin
left on their tongues!), and the native vegetables
which all tasted alike to me and all like slippery
elm. But then I reflected with pride that the
ancient Romans did not surpass us altogether in
luxury of diet, for one evening we dined on pea-
cock and ants' eyes. The peacock was no less
palatable because the entire bird cost but six-
teen cents ; and the ants' eyes were no less highly
valued because we had them at every meal — with
the rest of the ants' "material organized sub-
stance" (Venkiti always forgot to cover
the sugar bowl).
As for the peacock, when I learned what the
poor thing had suffered before its death, my con-
science smote me for having eaten it. That the
birds may not be able to find their way back to
the woods, the trappers sew their eyelids together,
not always careful to sew the eyelids only; fre-
quently the eye is pierced.
After dinner, I went again to the hospital, had
a few friendly chats with the patients, and then
came in to study for a while under the light of
the big punkah lamp (a lamp with a shade sur-
rounding all the sides and curving over the top,
protecting it from the breeze of the punkah).
The jackals howled vociferously; the flying-
fox gave every now and then a shrill, hissing
whistle; the night owls hooted mournfully, and
the frogs and crickets joined their voices to the
chorus. Everything was so different from home
— the loneliness, the eternal summer, the heavy
responsibility! I was too busy in those Indian
days for a severe attack of homesickness, for
every minute had its pressing duty which could
not be put aside for any little "joy in sorrow" of
mine. Nevertheless, I felt sometimes that the
world was very thick through, and the word
"America" sent an almost painful thrill down
my spinal column. I liked my work; I liked
India; but my altogether lovely home country
grew dearer to me every day.
Home's best !
But the air was fragrant with the breath
of jasmine and roses and oleander, and the moon-
THANKSGIVING IN INDIA
light was glorious. I was glad indeed to see my
dear "Moon-girl's" friendly, comforting glance.
In India, the Moon-girl does not hold up her
head in her proud American way, but gazes ever
downward. Astronomers may call it "diurnal
libration," or what they will, but I know she
bows her head in sadness for that sad land.
So the day ended, and, creeping into my
veranda cot, I forgot Thanksgiving Day in for-
eign lands and all other forms of self-pity, and
slept dreamlessly under the Moon-girl's tender
gaze and the soft caress of the night breezes.
I HAVE already described the charm of the
Christmas season in India; the balmy air,
the wealth of garden bloom, the green
trees and greener grass giving no hint of the
cold, white Christmas season of the West.
My first Christmas at Medak was just such
a day as India expects at that time of year — not
a cloud in the sky. From the dark of Christ-
mas Eve to the dawn of Christmas Day, the
boys and girls and coolies came in sets and sang
Christmas carols near the veranda where we lay
in bed, only stopping when a present was thrown
The morning service was held at the dliar-
matsahla, a sort of hostelry whose generous size
helps much toward the accommodation in the
compound of the thousands of Christians from
the district outside of Medak who foregather
with the Medak Christians on any special oc-
It was an inspiring scene when all those In-
dian Christians, in their gaily colored clothes and
with eyes and teeth and jewels shining bright
against the brown of their faces, waved their
arms above their heads, while they sang in loud,
Victory to Jesus !
Victory to Jesus Christ !
Victory to the Lord Jesus Christ!
May His Kingdom come ! Amen !
At the school we had games and a merry
feast with the children, when we all sat about
on the floor, eating with our fingers from plain-
tain leaf plates.
Then we superintended the festivities at the
hospital. Every arch and pillar of the long hos-
pital veranda surrounding the courtyard was
decorated with Japanese lanterns and garlands
of flowers. All the boys and girls had pretty
presents; and though some of the child invalids
could not be moved from their beds, they stretched
their wasted arms for the big doll or the toy
horse with all the longing of the others.
At night, after a huge bonfire and the distri-
bution to the Christians of the Christmas-tree
presents, we again sat down on the floor and ate
with the Indian people. Then Mr. Posnett, their
beloved 'Tadre Sahib," showered sweetmeats
among them, and the day's festivities were ended.
DREAM DAYS AMONG THE HIMALAYAS
WHEN we considered the pros and cons
of a hot summer on the plains, the
cons predominated and we decided to
go to Mussoorie and Simla.
On our journey, we had the whole railway-
coach to ourselves, and, lounging in kimonos,
we were very comfortable in spite of the heat,
the ovenlike breeze being cooled by its passage
through grass window blinds saturated with
As we neared the Ganges, we passed a band of
pilgrims, most of them sick or aged, filing
through the dust of the roadway. Some of these
weaker ones crept painfully along by themselves;
some leant on the arms of their stronger com-
panions ; and all struggled onward with the hope
of washing in the sacred Ganges before their
At Dehra Doon we came to the last railway
station before the ascent to Mussoorie. After a
refreshing lunch and rest at the hotel, a four-
AMONG THE HIMALAYAS
mile drive through the Doon, one of the most
beautiful and fertile of Indian valleys south of
Kashmir, brought us to the base of the moun-
tains; and then came a ride of eight miles up the
steep mountainside, in a dandy (a cushioned,
boat-shaped chair carried on the shoulders of
The moonlight brought out clearly the sharp,
black peaks high overhead, and threw colossal
shadows on the solemn valley below. The only
sound that reached us was the pattering of the
coolies' bare feet, or a sudden burst of talk or
song or laughter among them. Round and round
the mountain we curved, its rocky walls reach-
ing straight up for hundreds of feet above our
narrow path, and straight down, blotted out in
a yawning chasm of darkness below. Then came
the quiet coolness of the denser wood, and my
head gave several warning nods; so, half-asleep
and half -awake, I passed through that seductive
green to the heights beyond.
There at Mussoorie, where the season was
like England's June-time, we passed delightful
days among the pines and woodland flowers,
while, above the clouds high overhead, the ma-
jestic, snow-crowned Himalayas, range on range,
swept off into space.
Then on we went to Simla, Kipling's paradise
As at Mussoorie, we spent most of our time
dreaming the days away "under the deodars,"
but we also enjoyed wandering about the village
searching out the places filled with memories of
Kim and other friends.
BACK TO THE PLAINS
DORA CHATTERJEE, my college friend,
whose sister, Mrs. Nundy, I had vis-
ited in Hyderabad, had invited me to
her home in Hoshiarpur, so, arranging to meet
the English girls on the way back to Medak, I
went to Hoshiarpur. Dora's cousin, a young In-
dian prince, met me at Jullundar, and we chatted
pleasantly until Dora's father, Dr. Chatterjee,
the well-known scholar and philanthropist of the
Punjaub, arrived to take me to Hoshiarpur, some
twenty-five miles distant. As we bowled over
the smooth, hard road, as well kept as a city mall,
Dr. Chatterjee told me fascinating tales of his
boyhood days when he was a Bengali Brahman,
and of the bitter persecution he suffered when
he became a Christian. The long drive seemed
scarcely to have begun before it ended and we
were at Hoshiarpur, where my dear college mate
and her charming mother and sisters greeted me
The Chatterjee homestead was a fine old place,
indeed, a large, white bungalow encircled by wide
verandas and set far back from the road amid
shade trees, orchards and gardens.
The days passed swiftly and pleasantly.
Every morning Dora and I rose with the sun,
and, after working most of the day at Dora's
hospital in the city, we spent the early evening
in one festivity or another — a tennis or badmin-
ton party, a drive, a dinner or tea. calls, and
usually two or three combined, for there are many
English people of the Civil Service stationed at
It was hard indeed to leave my friends and
the happy life of the Punjaub to begin the long,
hot journey southward.
Sightseeing is, I think, usually more interest-
ing than comfortable, and my experience in
Delhi was no exception to the rule. The place
was like a furnace, but fascinating in the curious
mixture of growth and decay that marks this
old city which was for so many generations the
capital of the Mogul emperors.
Chandni Chauk, the "Street of Light," might
be termed also the ''Street of Life," for I never
before saw or heard such a swarm of bees in
butterfly garb and human form as that which
makes this street one of the busiest in India.
An English soldier took me through the fort
BACK TO THE PLAINS
then used as barracks for the English army.
Though ruinous far beyond the fort at Agra, it
was decidedly imposing, and the Diwan-i-Khas,
or Private Hall of Audience, was unique in the
beauty and taste of its gorgeous ornamentation.
Open on all sides to the palms and the sunshine
and the penetrating blue of the Indian sky, with
graceful Saracenic columns and arches, richly
carved, gilded, and inlaid, until the whole room
is one blaze of gold and silver and jewels, flash-
ing blue, red, purple and green, it formed a fit
setting for the famous Peacock Throne which
once stood there, and you could not wonder that
it inspired the distich written in Persian on the
If on earth be an Eden of bliss,
It is this ! It is this ! It is this !
The Jumma Musjid at Delhi, the largest
mosque in the world, is very majestic with its
white marble ornamentation on red sandstone;
but I had seen the Pearl Mosque at Agra, which
is built on somewhat the same plan; and the Pearl
Mosque is so much purer and lovelier that I
could part without regret from the Jumma
Although it was noon when I left the Musjid,
I drove eleven miles to the outskirts of the city,
where, in the midst of a wilderness of pathetic
ruins, rose that wonderfully carved shaft of red
sandstone — world-renowned and rarely beauti-
ful—the Kutb-Minar !
The drive back to the city was cool and rest-
ful, and I felt quite refreshed when I resumed
my railway journey.
The English girls had rejoined me and we
had dined at one of the stations when, as we re-
entered our coach, we saw that we were not
alone. In one of the "upper berths" a deer-eyed,
brown woman peeped shyly out from her
bhourka. Close to her breast she held a chubby
two-year-old boy, w4io seemed inclined to cry at
sight of us. Just then the anxious face of a
young Mahomedan gentleman appeared at the
"Madam," said he in English, "you must care
my wife because she has small child; because of
small child, you must care. I commit you,
Madam, I commit you !" and he hurried away as
the train started.
Of course, we helped the timid cneatures down
to a safer level, and did our best to make them
feel more at ease.
At Aurungabad station we left the train to
make the trip to Ellora Caves. It was a long,
hard journey in the hot noonday up the sun-dried,
lonely ghats to the caves. We frequently re-
BACK TO THE PLAINS
lieved our ponies by walking, and every few
minutes we sat down to rest. But the heat and
the weariness were forgotten in our wonder and
admiration for those vast, underground temples
which, gouged and chiseled ages ago out of the
solid rock, extend for a mile and a quarter along
the face of the hill.
As I stood beside the Buddha in the ''Car-
penter's Cave" my waist came just to his knee,
and I climbed up on the knee and sat there for
a while to give the rest of our party an idea of
the size of the image.
In the Brahmanical caves, the old legends that
Mrs. Keskar had told us came swarming back
upon me. The handsome, mischievous boy-
Krishna was there, and there was Hanaman-
thadu, the Monkey-General. Gluttonous Ganesh,
fat and kindly, with his absurd elephant-head,
gazed blandly at us over his broken tusk; heroic
Rama and his gentle Sita wandered through the
enchanted wood; Siva of the frowning brow slew
his enemies or peacefully played chess with his
terrible wife, Parvati; and amorous Vishnu
whispered his love-tale into the ears of Lakshmi,
his beautiful consort.
Every line in these underground marvels was
clear and accurate. Each petal of the lotus-
flower stood out in bold relief; and the pillars in
the great vaults were as straight and smooth as
if planed by an expert carpenter. Nothing but
a visit to the place itself could convey its atmos-
phere, the dark corners where bats cling to the
ceiling or object, with sharp squeaks, to being
disturbed, the earthy dampness, the deep, deep
recesses rank with the wild beast odor of the
hyenas, wolves, and leopards, which frequently
take refuge there, and the filthy old priests who
keep the place in order and haunt your every foot-
step begging for bakshish.
Not only does the Nizam of Hyderabad issue
his own coinage and stamps, but also collects
customs at the boundaries of his territory. The
wearisome "red tape" of this customs procedure
after our midnight landing at Mirzapally station,
and the five hours' jolt over rough roads while
our heads tumbled sleepily about and we hung
desperately to the tonga to keep from being
thrown to the ground, made our compound seem
a veritable Eden as we entered its gates in the
freshness of the early morning and received the
hearty welcome of our people.
WE GO A-TOURING
RESPONDING to an urgent call from
Ellareddypett to come there with medi-
cines, we made a medical tour of a week
to Ellareddypett and other outlying villages of
Our chaprassi (messenger and guard), fully
armed, went a day in advance of us, as he always
does in case of touring, to get the permission of
the patel (head man) for our coming into his
village; to arrange for the location of the tent,
for the food and other supplies; and to hire an
Indian band which should emphasize our worth
and importance by parading the streets every
night from sunset to dawn with instrumental din
and loud shouts of, "The white lady doctors are
coming! Bring your sick! Bring your sick!
They will be cured!"
Half a day after the chaprassi s departure went
our assistants, servants, and equipment to make
everything ready for immediate work on our
arrival. Then early next morning. Miss Tom-
bleson and I left the compound in the "box
bandy," bound for Ellareddypett, where our way-
had been prepared.
I am a long-suffering individual with regard
to modes of travel, various or curious, but then
and there I decided that, when there should be
no other vehicle at my disposal except our "box
handy" the motion of which resembled that of
a storm-tossed ship in a cross-current, I should
risk the foot blisters and heat stroke of pedes-
trianism in India!
When, after long hours of rattling and bump-
ing along the way, Miss Tombleson had grown
sober in the eyes and white about the lips, and I
had passed through the stage immediately fol-
lowing that, the sun was low enough to risk walk-
ing and we gladly crawled out of our discomfort
and stretched our cramped limbs luxuriously.
At Nargareddypett our evangelist and his wife
entertained us to the best of their ability, but
the dear people were sadly flustered in trying to
supply the needs given us by the complicated
domestic life of the West. We had brought our
own loaf of bread and bottle of milk and, after
long search and much scrubbing, our hostess
produced two battered enameled plates and two
sea-shells. That was all, but we managed very
well as, seated on the plank which protected us
WE GO A-TOURING
from the mud floor, neatly and properly washed
with cow-dung, we took turns at tearing off
chunks of bread which we soaked in the milk
and dipped up with the shells.
Our weariness from the day's travel made our
narrow string cot seem like a state bed of softest
down. The cot had been placed under the win-
dow of the little room where until midnight the
village Christians sang their evening hymns —
flats a specialty and sound their chief object; the
snores of the chaprassi and bandy driver from
the veranda near us came plainly to our ears;
and the squealing and grunting of pigs from their
pen six yards away mingled with the sudden
snort of an astonished bullock or buffalo that,
wandering idly about the grounds, had discov-
ered on close investigation that our faces were
not a midnight meal. Nevertheless, we turned
over — simultaneously of necessity — and slept like
babies till the morning sun shone full on our eyes.
Another meal of bread and milk and we started
again toward Ellareddypett. With yesterday's
experience fresh in our mind, we decided to walk
and trudged on for an hour and a half, when the
hot sun compelled us to seek the refuge of the
A royal welcome awaited us at Ellareddy-
pett. Mr. Bursoji, the Avul Taluqudar (chief
governor of the district), is a warm friend of
Mr. Posnett's, so here in Mr. Bursoji's province
everything was ours and the principal officials
of the place, anxious to please their lord, treated
us with the utmost kindness and consideration.
We were grateful for the courtesy which had
placed at our disposal the best house in town,
notwithstanding the readily overlooked discom-
fort of the small, dark rooms with walls dirty
with the dirt of a dirty generation, and of the
rickety wooden stairs of the step-ladder variety
which led to a rough loft above and which
swayed under our weight, threatening at every
moment to precipitate us to the floor below.
As usual, we walked through the town in pro-
cession to let the people know we had come, and
everywhere we were greeted most cordially. We
saw several former patients, wives and children
of rich Jain merchants, who loaded us with gifts
of various foodstuffs and told our servants not
to pay for supplies while in town, but to send to
them for anything we wished.
The Jains, few in number, are the remnant
of the Indian Buddhists, and their faces show
clearly their Mongolian origin. They are ex-
tremists in the matter of protecting animal life.
They cremate their dead on a stone carefully
brushed, that no insect life may be unwittingly
WE GO A-TOURING
taken, and they have established in Bombay an
asylum for the lower animal life, including fleas
and other insects ; there men receive a daily wage
for allowing the fleas to feed on their blood.
It seemed incongruous for the mother of the
family, dressed in costliest silks and velvets and
loaded with jewels, to squat beside her tiny,
smoky stone fireplace and cook the evening meal
with her own hands. This is compulsory on ac-
count of strict religious rules in regard to the
purity of food eaten. This same lady showed us
with fond pride her bedroom, a closet-like apart-
ment, with one small window — its only furniture
a string cot and a tall brass stand holding a clay
lamp. All around the wall on shelves were
dozens of brass and silver-plated cups and mugs
and vases, while from the ceiling hung suspended
colored balls of tinsel like Christmas tree orna-
When bedtime came, I recalled one of little
Eva Adkin's remarks. The mosquitoes had been
unusually troublesome at Medak, and Eva in-
quired: "Mother, what is the use of mosquitoes?"
"I don't know, dear," replied her mother, "but
everything God has placed on earth is of some
"I suppose," concluded Eva thoughtfully,
"when I go to heaven it wouldn't be poHte to ask
God about that."
My meditations at Ellareddypett were to the
effect that I should risk the impropriety and
seek a reason for the existence of the pests.
When the torment from the vicious creatures be-
came absolutely unendurable, we formed rolls
from newspapers and, covering our heads with
the sheet, pushed one end of the roll outside,
making a passage for the air. When sleep over-
came us, the rolls fell to the floor and we slept on
unconscious of the vitiated air until the dawn
found us gasping for breath and coolness.
A third of the inhabitants of Ellareddypett
were afflicted with elephantiasis, that disease of
slow and insidious development which gives to its
victims monstrous limbs like the limbs of an ele-
phant. The people thus affected appeared to
think their misfortune a trivial matter, and laugh-
ingly showed us their misshapen limbs with the
remark, "We want no medicine for it; it troubles
us not at all."
On the last evening of our stay at his village,
the Mahomedan Tahsildar of Ellareddypett sent
us a sumptuous dinner and called a few hours
later to say farewell. The old man is childless,
but he accepts this greatest affliction with a
philosophy worthy of imitation.
WE GO A-TOURING
"I had children, boys and girls, but they are
dead!" he sighed. "Kismet! We are taught not
to grieve," and, touching his brow with his fore-
finger, he turned away with a patient smile.
For our protection on the road to our next
stopping place, the Tahsildar sent with us a
"What!" exclaimed the chaprassi in injured
tones, when the Tahsildar admonished him to
take good care of us. "Will I not protect the
Mem Sahibs? Do I not wear this?" And he
clapped his hand boastfully on his brass plate of
office attached to the shabbiest of brown shoulder
straps. The noble gallant proved his devotion
by always being somewhere else when wanted
and by valiantly hitting with his stick the small
boys who came in innocent curiosity to gaze at
the white ladies.
So, safe in the care of the doughty chaprassi,
we passed through the old crumbling city gate
and came immediately upon a holy well, a struc-
ture about twenty feet square by many more
deep, with elaborately carved stone balconies.
All around the inside were stone steps leading to
the water, by which the worshiper goes down
into the well and leaves it after his bath of puri-
fication to enter one of the near-by temples, each
dedicated to a different god. After ringing a
bell to call the attention of the god to his pres-
ence, the devotee places his offering at the altar
and prostrates himself in prayer.
The idol in each temple is locked in a small
room where only the privileged may enter, but
we peeped through the chinks in one of the doors,
and as our eyes became accustomed to the dark-
ness we could see the gaudy, hideous thing in its
gold and silver ornaments perched on its sacred
chair, while the strong smell of incense reached
At Kaliampett, the officials of the village placed
the new dak bungalow at our service and, like the
Ellareddypett officials, did all they could to make
our visit pleasant.
CJiota hazrai was scarcely over next morning
when Abbishakamma came running to say
that in the night, at the very gates of the vil-
lage, a leopard had injured a woman and that
they were bringing her to us. The victim, a
Lombardy (Indian gypsy) girl barely nineteen
years of age, was terribly mutilated about the
face and chest; blood dripped from the wounds;
her face was convulsed with terror; and she con-
stantly screamed, "YaJidardai! Yahdardai!" (Oh
me! Oh me!)
The savage creature had struck her as she lay
sleeping, her shrieks had awakened the rest, and
WE GO A-TOURING
their cries had driven it away. As it slunk off,
however, it snatched from its mother's arms a
boy three months old, and bore him away to
the woods. The poor mother, they told me, re-
fused to be comforted, and there was terrible
confusion in the gypsy camp.
After dressing her wounds, we sent the girl
away somewhat pacified, but, through the wil-
derness of bandages and strapping, there still
came the low frightened moan, "Yahdardai!
Our next stopping place was on the homeward
route at a large, clean village by the side of a
clear lake, and we pitched our, tent under a hos-
pitably spreading tamarind tree. Then for sev-
eral days we led a gypsy life in the jungle.
The cooking was done in a stone fireplace under
a tree, and, in spite of the primitive conveniences,
excellent meals were prepared. Though the eggs
were strained through the cook's unwashed fin-
gers and the dishes were dried on the duster, we
were grateful that the eggs were not strained, as
is sometimes the case, through the cook's sleep-
ing-blanket, and that the dishes were not dried,
as they frequently are, on the lamp cloth.
All day long people thronged to the tent, some
for medicine, some to satisfy their curiosity.
On the first day came the important officials of
the village, who tried to sit on chairs in the Eng-
lish manner, but who continually forgot and rest-
lessly curled their feet under them or drew their
knees to their chins as they talked.
Then followed the villagers, each holding out a
hand, with the laconic, ''Jerra soodoo!" (Just
see!) and when we asked them if they suffered
pain, staring in surprise with the exclamation:
*'You have felt my pulse; you are a doctor;
should you not know better than we?"
There were also the women who came timidly
to the tent, now drawing near and now retreating,
needing medicine but afraid to drink for fear of
some evil result from the drugs of the "for-
eigner." One of them told us she feared to drink
the medicine lest her babies be born white.
''Never mind!" I replied, "if your children are
born white, put them out in the sun a little while ;
they will soon be black enough."
Several of the women hid the faces of the ba-
bies lest we should cast the "evil eye" upon them.
The usual number of questions were asked as
to what we ate and how, why we came to India,
what salary we received, how old we were,
whether Miss Tombleson and I were sisters
or merely of the same caste, where our husbands
were, and other delicate and impersonal inquiries,
till our brains and tongues wearied with the ef-
WE GO A-TOURING
fort of making tactful and noncommittal an-
Came also the hopeless cases that had tried
everything else before risking treatment by the
And with them all those sufferers who greatly
needed us and wanted us and for whose sake only
we should gladly have come.
It was rather a shock to such faith as the peo-
ple had in us when they learned that we could not
give brains to an idiot girl nor arms to a babe
born without those useful members, but, in spite
of our glaring failures of this sort, they showed
no lack of cordiality in their request that w^e come
to their village once a week with medicines.
At the end of every day, after the crowds about
the tent had gone to their homes for the evening
meal. Miss Tombleson and I would have a short
swim in the lake or, lounging on the steps of one
of those ruined temples almost invariably found
on the banks of Indian lakes, we would pass the
time wath song or story or silently watch the glo-
rious color pageant in the western sky.
After dinner we would play chess in the light
of the big lantern until roused from our ab-
sorption in the game by the tempting fragrance of
hot chocolate and the voice of the boy over the
steaming cups: "Missy ordering hot chocolate at
bedtime; I bringing."
So our tour ended and we came back, half
glad, half sorry, to the routine of life at Medak.
ON HORSEBACK AND OFF
OUR ponies were startled when, as we rode
through Medak one evening, a man sud-
denly appeared in front of us sobbing
and begging us to save the life of his daughter.
We stopped to see what we could do, but always
the same old story. The medicine of every hakim
in the place had been tried, and we were called
in when but a flicker of hope remained.
I saw that the little girl's life was nearly ended,
but I gave her some medicine.
"I am your loving daughter, Doctor Mem Sa-
hib!" she whispered, her thin hand weakly clasp-
ingmine. "You will cure me, won't you?" Then,
after a brief silence, and shyly: "You have such
beautiful dolls! If I had a doll, I think I should
Hastening to the compound, I returned with a
pretty English doll and, as the child clasped it in
her arms, her smile was radiant.
"Now I shall get well very fast," she mur-
mured and sank into the death stupor.
Two hours later when I called again, the loud
wailing told its own story. The child spirit had
gone home, and the doll still lay close against the
quiet little bosom.
It was an interesting change from our usual
twilight gallop on the ponies when Dadu Badsha
lent us one of his elephants for a ride.
An elephant's back is as accommodating as a
Broadway surface car — always room for one
more — so eight of us, by the help of a ladder
against the side of the kneeling elephant, and the
supplementary aid of our "Padre Sahib's" strong
right arm, mounted. Then, holding for dear life
to the ropes that fastened the blankets securely
in place, we waited until the changing slant of
the broad back had become level before we
breathed again. So, clinging fast to the ropes,
we swung and lunged and swayed as the elephant
ponderously made a circuit of the compound, and
the anxious mahout, seated on the elephant's neck
with his cruel-looking hook in hand, glanced
round every little while to see if the laughing,
careless riders behind him were safe.
''How terrible it would be if we should fall!"
exclaimed Mrs. Adkin, taking a firmer grip on
"Don't worry, Mother !" said five-year-old Eric,
reassuringly clasping his arms about his mother's
ON HORSEBACK AND OFF
waist. "You cannot fall for I will hold you very
The sun was sinking to-day when we returned
from our village visits, and we were somewhat
alarmed for, in spite of the teachings of the Ko-
ran and the Vedas, many Mahomedan and Hindu
peasants get drunk every evening at twilight, and
the scenes in the village at that time are both piti-
ful and disgusting. It is not unusual to see a
babe of four or five years reeling drunkenly from
one to another of his drunken parents, who,
laughing uproariously at the child's efforts to
control his feet and tongue, ply him with more
rice liquor or palm toddy until he drops helpless.
On the evening of which I write we urged our
ponies to special haste and were glad when we
found ourselves within the gates of the com-
pound, for the feast of Sankurathri would soon
To everyone who knows of the Hindu gods
and the bestiality ascribed to most of them it
will bring no surprise that the Hindus have an
annual feast of several days when they give them-
selves entirely to the satisfaction of their lower
natures, lying, thieving and otherwise wronging
each other with impunity. On the last night,
called "Sankurathri," every Hindu may, without
sin, commit adultery. From the compound we
could plainly hear the drunken, discordant shouts
and singing of the villagers, as they celebrated
this abominable feast.
Not all the Hindu festivals are so abhorrent.
The feast of Battakamma, part of the great
feast of Dasara, for the worship of Sarasvathi,
goddess of knowledge, has many beautiful and
To celebrate Dasara, the princes and nobles
give dinners to the people ; everybody takes a holi-
day and wears new clothes; ancestors are wor-
shiped; the soldier bows to his sword, the mer-
chant to his pile of money, the farmer to his
plow, and all other men to the implements of
their various occupations. The streets are full
of shouting, singing Hindus and of garlands,
bouquets, and banks of flowers. Brahman
schoolboys, decorated from head to foot with
flowers and carrying wands and bows and ar-
rows made of flowers, walk in procession through
the town following their schoolmaster and stop-
ping at the doors of houses where they are likely
to receive a present. The Mission bungalows are
always favored and before an interested audience
they sing in loud, shrill tones various action-
songs, until, notwithstanding the picturesque ap-
pearance of the chorus, the missionaries are
compelled to preserve their ear-drums intact by
ON HORSEBACK AND OFF
giving a rupee to the joyous little bands, who
salaam courteously and depart.
Nevertheless, even Dasara has its bitterness,
for every man, no matter how poor, is compelled
by public opinion, the merciless arbiter of India's
fate, to celebrate properly the feast even though
he sell his own child to obtain money so to do.
And there is another sort of cruelty. An im-
portant ceremony of the festival is the sacrifice
of a goat. Part of the goat's tail is cut off and
red pepper applied to the wound. In agony the
poor creature violently shakes the stump, scatter-
ing blood on the bystanders, who eagerly rub their
fingers in it and place the bloody fingers on their
foreheads. Then, as the goat must die a sacri-
fice by the hand of man without the use of a
knife, this ''hand of man" drives a nail into each
of the goat's eyes and ears and into every other
orifice of the body, and finishes the sacrifice by
literally tearing the tortured beast to pieces.
Knowing such things as this, do you wonder
that my mind sometimes reverts to the frequently
recurring statements in our popular Western
journals, where we of the Occident are advised
to learn humanity from the East Indian?
It is true t|iat Hindus worship many varieties
of dumb animals; it is true, they do not often
kill them outright. They look on indifferently at
a sick brute's hours or days of agony — hopeless
agony preceding death — and nothing would
shock the Indian more or cause his eyes to open
wider in horror than the suggestion that he kill
the creature instantly.
I love my Indian people, and I should like to
concur in the optimistic opinion of them held by
our journals at home, but I should indeed be a
fatuous believer in the untrue to thus discredit
the evidence of my own senses.
In extenuation, however, let me add that the
barbarities practiced by the East Indian usually
arise not from a malignant spirit, but from a
childish lack of imagination or from an apathy
born of the tropics.
In one of the zenanas I visited I saw a part-
ridge in a cage so small that he could scarcely
stretch his neck. The people told me they had
caught two but one had died and this one was
always pecking at the bars trying to free himself.
At my request, they gave me the bird and, as I
rode past a cornfield, I tossed the trembling cap-
tive from my hand and he fluttered joyously away
into the corn.
One day I galloped past a group of men who
stood about some object and from sheer curiosity
I reined in my pony to see what was happening.
One of the men had shot a flying fox through the
ON HORSEBACK AND OFF
wing and was holding it out in all its broad ex-
panse while another man was arranging a cam-
era for a photograph. The torn flesh dripped
blood and at intervals of about ten seconds a by-
stander would strike with a stick the broken bone,
for the pleasure of seeing the wounded creature
shrink back in agony. Each time the act was
followed by a loud laugh from everybody pres-
ent. The stern lecture I administered seemed to
shame the men, and they promised to take the
photograph and set the animal free without fur-
It is common in Bombay to load road carts so
full that the bullocks are thrown up into the air
from the burden.
Only by the utmost caution and strict super-
vision can a W^estern man keep his own dumb
beasts from being starved by their caretakers,
who ruthlessly steal their food and otherwise
shamefully neglect them. Sister Adela Moss, one
of our English ladies, riding in the bullock tonga
with a driver who had newly come to the com-
pound, saw him plunge an iron-pointed stick into
the back of the bullock as he drove, and she in-
stantly commanded him to throw away his wea-
pon of torture. A moment later, she noticed
blood trickling down the bullock's tail and, watch-
ing closely, she saw the driver bend his head and
deliberately bite with his own teeth the beast's
tail until it bled afresh.
Notwithstanding my constant horseback rid-
ing", I was thrown one day and at the same time
had a snake adventure. It was on one of my
visits to a far village. My pony was forcing his
way through a dense undergrowth in the forest,
when I heard a rustle, and an immense python
wriggled from the bush straight for my horse's
legs. The pony trembled violently. Realizing
what would happen, and remembering an old bi-
cycle trick of relaxing and letting myself fall
easily, I dropped to the bushes just as the pony
reared and jumped sidewise into a roadside pond
of muddy water. The snake was so long that I
nearly fell on its tail ; but we all escaped unhurt
— horse, snake, and woman. My hearty laugh
as the ashen- faced syce helped me to my feet
brought back the blood to his cheek, and without
further adventure we proceeded on our way.
IF obstacles cause one to appreciate the goal,
then surely we should have enjoyed the Jah-
tra. The Jahtra is a sort of Hindu county
fair, where once a year the Hindus by thousands
meet in a certain place and beseech the gods to
give them children, or they make sacrifices as
thank-offerings for children already granted.
Rising before dawn, w^e piled ourselves and a
good supply of medicine into the bandies and
started off. Now, one may cross the Manjery
River only by boat or by way of the new dam
built in connection with the Manjery Irrigation
Project, which has proved an immeasurable
blessing to the Medak District. This dam
stretches from shore to shore, a mile of mud-
covered, slippery stones forming a path some
four feet wide, with water two or three inches
deep dashing swiftly over it to a bed of boulders
twenty feet below. You may imagine our proces-
sion: Miss Tombleson, Miss Wigfield and I in
front, barefooted, with now and then a slip, a
cry, and a regaining of our balance; the nurses
and servants with luggage on their heads follow-
ing; poor old Abbishakamma gray with fright,
shrinking between two men and holding desper-
ately to their arms; and before us and behind us
a long unbroken line of Indians in gay holiday
At the scene of the Jahtra itself not a tree was
in sight, but boulders, boulders, boulders, cover-
ing the hills and causing us to make our way
along the paths by jumping from rock to rock.
The smell of roasting flesh greeted us as we
came upon a Hindu family who, with the help of
two or three priests, were offering up a sheep in
thanks for a chubby infant who rolled on the
ground at his mother's feet. The sheep's head
was roasting on the fire beside a black pot all
marked with streaks of red and green and yellow
and decorated with flowers, this pot holding the
rice which would be eaten a little later at the
feast. The father, who was skinning the sheep's
body, was delighted to tell us all about the mat-
ter; how last year he had come to this place to
pray for a boy and how this year he had brought
the boy himself.
Almost immediately we came upon another
scene still more impressive. In a little hollow of
the rocks over a dirty pool of water presided a
coarse-faced, outcaste priest. Whoever should
bathe in this water and receive his blessing would
be granted a child. And here they came, low
caste and high, the eager faith of the high caste
women causing them to forget, in their longing
for domestic happiness, that the touch of the
priest was defilement. They poured the filthy
water over their bodies, and an old hag helped the
priest to empty bowl after bowl of the water upon
their heads. On the surface of the pool they
placed flowers and the sacred tiilsi plant; they
marked the rocky sides of the pool with red and
yellow, rubbed the yellow dye well into their own
faces and hands, and the priest solemnly placed
a red mark upon their foreheads. Then, shiver-
ing and dripping, they walked several times
around the pool, placed a few pice in the hand of
the priest, and departed for a continuation of the
ceremony elsewhere. Following them, we came
to a cave in the rocks where the priests had
erected an "altar," and here the women received
a garland and another blessing and went away
hopeful. As we watched, Miss Wigfield's right-
eous indignation burst forth :
"Why do you deceive these poor women so?
The great, true God alone can give them chil-
And it rather took us aback when the priest re-
plied — the women listening to every word:
"Of course, this is all of no use. We know
the gods will not grant children because of this.
We do it to fill our stomachs. It is but a few
pice and the women wish to pay it."
And still, with his words in their ears, they
allowed him to place the garlands about their
necks and gladly put their pice into his hand.
All day long there were new scenes and fresh
excitement ; the bazaars were bright with cloths,
foodstuffs, cheap jewelry and toys. A purple
horse of most astounding anatomy inspired us
to the paraphrase,
We never saw a purple horse ;
We never want to see one;
But this we'll tell you that, of course.
We'd rather see than be one.
Performing bears and monkeys were put
through their tricks ; beggars showed their loath-
some deformities; vile intoxicants were sold at
every turn ; young women and boys and hideous
old witches wildly danced and shrieked, then
trembling violently sank to the ground in a re-
What seemed in the eyes of the people the
chief feature of the fair was a procession of some
twenty bandies, filled with laughing youths, each
bandy gay with paint and paper and tinsel, and
drawn by a pair of bullocks decked out with
bright streamers. All the long afternoon the
bandies twined in and out among the rocks with
never a pause, and always where they went the
crowd was thickest.
Just back of our tent whirled and danced and
chanted a low-browed fakir, nude but for a loin
cloth, and with his hair hanging below his knees,
each separate strand so matted with dirt and
grease that it might have been a leathern thong.
A mother brought her baby to be blessed and
the fakir paused long enough in his violent exer-
cises to pass a strand of his hair over the baby's
face, to mutter a few words of blessing and re-
ceive his pay ; and then continued in his untiring
We were delighted to see at the Jahtra many
old friends. Every little while, as we passed
along on our sightseeing expedition, somebody
would dash from the crowd and throw himself at
our feet or upon our shoulders, and we would
recognize a grateful patient or an equally grate-
ful relative of a patient.
In the afternoon we dispensed medicines in the
tent and though but few came to us, those few
seemed impressed with Abbishakamma's story,
told as only Abbishakamma can tell it, of heart-
broken, childless Hannah and the little God-given
FREQUENTLY in magazines and newspa-
pers appear sarcastic comments on foreign
mission work, which intimate that the con-
verts to Christianity are merely "rice Christians,"
that is, men who accept Christianity for the
worldly benefit they receive by so doing.
I admit that many of our converts began as
"rice Christians," but the nature of the Hindu is
all conservatism. When he has, for any reason,
left a beaten path in life, the new path he has
chosen soon becomes as dear to his nature as was
the old, and it would require as enormous an ef-
fort to force him from it. From a "rice Chris-
tian" he becomes as true a follower of Christ as
the majority of Westerners reared in the faith.
Rajannah, a high-caste Hindu without near
relatives, had been deserted because of his help-
lessness due to complete cataract of both eyes.
When he came a beggar to the compound, Dr.
Watts, to whose position at Medak I succeeded,
operated on his eyes and restored to him partial
sight. Deeply grateful, he professed Christian-
ity, and both Dr. Watts and Miss Wigfield took
a warm interest in his spiritual development,
which seemed very rapid. When the time came
for him to be baptized, the ladies assured Mr.
Posnett that Rajannah was very intelligent and
understood perfectly what baptism meant. As
the old man stood in church before the whole
congregation, Mr. Posnett questioned him as he
questions all converts:
"Rajannah, why have you become a Chris-
"What could I do?" answered Rajannah. "I
had no rice to fill my stomach, and I knew you
would give me rice and work."
Months later he was able to pass more suc-
cessfully an examination for baptism, and when
he was too old and weak to do more than pull
the punkah, we could daily hear his cracked voice
singing hymns in tunes quite original, or preach-
ing Christianity to the dhirzi, a high-caste Hindu
who used to sit on our front veranda with his
little hand-power sewing machine, and sew for
us all day.
So Rajannah lived up to his light and, dying,
told those who were with him that he should
wake "in the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Bordena Venkaiah shows another type of
Christian. Venkaiah had been notorious
throughout the whole district for his brutahty.
He had beaten one wife to death and had
drowned another in a well. Then he heard the
teachings of Christianity, became converted, and
was baptized. He asked us for one of our school-
girls for a wife, but we feared to give her to him,
thinking the old, evil temper might break out
again. The girl herself, however, begged us to
let her marry him, saying she trusted him. So
we consented to the union and it proved a very
happy one. Venkaiah was devoted to his girl
wife, and his one wish was for a son to crown
his joy. A daughter came and another, but no
son. Through it all, Venkaiah remained patient
and loving to his wife and little daughters, but
his daily prayer was for a boy. Then the boy
came. They named him Gabriel, and his father
worshiped him. When the little son was bap-
tized, Venkaiah adorned a young buffalo with
garlands of flowers and, as a gift of gratitude,
proudly led it up the aisle of the chapel to the
Gabriel was about ten months old and very
bonny, when his father came to our hospital and
said: "I am called to the city and have left my
wife and children alone in our village. If any-
thing should happen to them, you will do what
you can? They are my life!"
Scarcely two hours after his departure, the
young wife came running with little Gabriel in
her arms. He was in violent convulsions and
just as she entered the hospital doors he died.
When Venkaiah learned the sad news, he was
like a maniac, but, in all his raving, he never for-
got that he was a son of God :
"O God, my Father, why have you slain my
heart? O Gabriel, Gabriel!"
And so over and over again.
Several months later, when one of our mission-
aries passed the cemetery, she saw Venkaiah ly-
ing face downward on Baby Gabriel's grave, cry-
ing mournfully, *'0 Gabriel, my son, my son!"
Then another son came to him. When this
child was born the young mother was alone in
a distant village far from medical help, and, in
giving life to the boy, lost her own. Venkaiah
felt his wife's death keenly, but struggled on,
fathering and mothering his little boy and girls.
But the boy was always delicate and sickly and
when one day Venkaiah brought him to our hos-
pital the shadow of death already hovered over
the sharpened features. After a few hours' lin-
gering the baby died. As Venkaiah gazed on his
dead child, his face was gray and drawn with his
soul's agony, but this time there was no wild out-
burst of grief. Folding his arms, he said quietly :
"Now, all I have are in heaven but I am old
and ready to go and I am glad they are all there
w^aiting for me." Then, kneeling by the bedside,
he prayed: "Now, O Lord, my Father, Thou
hast all my treasures. Come again quickly and
take me also to Thyself!"
Our old Kedari vies with Bordena Venkaiah
in the manly strength of his Christianity. A high
official of his village, father of five grown sons,
and owner of many fields, Kedari became con-
verted to Christianity and sacrificed for his be-
lief his family, his property, his all. His own
sons cursed and stoned him in the village streets ;
but, by patient endeavor, he at last won all his
family to Christ, and every month thereafter
Kedari, as his sons knelt beside him at the com-
munion-rail, would smile proudly as he looked at
them and then at his silver finger-ring which
bore the Telugu inscription, "An elder in the
Church of Christ!"
A CERTAIN queen in a castle was in
trouble. This sounds like the beginning
of a fairy tale, but it is a plain twenti-
eth century fact, and the romance is somewhat
modified by adding that the queen is an ancient
dowager, mother of the late rajah, and the trou-
ble was merely cataracts which she wished re-
As the patient could not come to us and as
there were no cases in hospital which we could
not safely leave, Miss Posnett, Miss Harris and
I started out to perform the operation at the
queen's own castle in the village of Parpanapett
on the outskirts of our district. We decided to
make a regular medical tour, visiting Parpana-
pett in the natural order of the route.
Departing from the compound in the bullock
tonga, we passed the potter just outside our gates
squatting before his wheel which he swiftly
turned, shaping with deft hands the clay pot be-
fore him. This scene brought to my mind, as it
always did when I reflected on the souls of my
dear Indian heathen, those comforting lines of
Omar Khayyam's "Rubaiyat" :
Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless pots he marr'd in making — Pish!
He's a good fellow and 'twill all be well.
Two minutes later, we came to the massive
gate in the old town wall of Medak and drove
into the village, a typical village of India. The
long, winding main street was lined with two
rows of mud huts and crossed by narrow alleys,
the uncovered sewage draining through street
and alley. Brown monkeys jumped from house
to house, the longest leap of a mother monkey
disturbing not at all the baby clutching at her
breast; and in the bazaar children, ponies, cows,
buffaloes, donkeys, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, and
It was market-day and the merchants of the
bazaar had spread their wares so far toward the
middle of the street on both sides that only
skilled guidance of the bullocks saved the care-
less vendors from ruin. Here and there a
friend greeted us with a salaam; and gradually
we wended our way around the hill with its old
fort and temple and past the mosque where every
morning at sunrise the Mahomedan priest cries
from the minaret his "Allah-il- Allah!" — "God is
God and IMahomet is his prophet! Come to
prayer! Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Prayer is better than sleep!"
Then, out into the open country!
Far and wide extended plantations of cocoa-
nut palms with an earthern vessel fastened to
each to catch the juice which, when fermented,
serves as toddy, the Indian beer. A lithe, brown
coolie was taking down the filled vessels. To
climb a tree, he leaned back against a rope fast-
ened about his waist and the tree and rapidly
worked his way up by means of his toes and
In an adjoining field, swinging their trunks
and lazily munching their hay, were Dadu Bad-
sha's two tame elephants.
Beyond were castor-bean and mustard fields.
In front of their ancestral tombs, in the old
Mahomedan burial ground, several Mahomedans
Here and there we saw the nest of the weaver
bird swinging from a lofty branch. These nests
are cleverly built and seem designed to protect
the birds from snakes and other foes. A closely
woven pyramid about a foot in length and de-
pending by its apex from a branch swings loosely
in the air. One side of the base forms a pouch
where the bird may hatch her eggs, and the other
side is lengthened into a cyHnder leading from
space into the nest, thus forming an opening
which could be entered only by a winged creature
of small size.
There were the usual fine old trees and the
great heaps of boulders so common throughout
this part of India; and always the green rice-
fields, the white water-lilies, and the pink lotus
flowers. We passed two or three droves of
sturdy donkeys heavily laden; flocks of sheep and
goats; springless wooden carts with their two
rough wheels, each wheel a cross section of a
tree trunk. Then we came to a lake of muddy
water with the cattle rushing forward for a
drink, and buffalo wallowing deep in the mire.
A diver bird ran across our path; a ruined
Hindu temple, relic of a thousand years ago, came
to view; and, farther on, two or three bird
scarers snug in their thatched towers carried out
their unique, cobweb system. A rough straw
shelter is built on a wooden platform raised high
above the ground on four stout poles, smoothly
polished to prevent snakes from climbing them.
From this perch ropes extend in every direction,
cobweb style, over the fields. Night and day a
boy or girl sits on the perch to frighten away the
thieving birds and beasts. In the daytime when
birds only are the thieves, the child frightens
them off by twitching the rope, and at night the
little guardian of the hard-earned food shouts
every now and then to keep the wild beasts away.
But we were on the road.
A chubby beggar boy ran behind the tonga
slapping vigorously a well-rounded stomach, evi-
dently trying to make us believe appearances de-
A boy goatherd seated on a grassy knoll played
on his pipe of reeds while he kept his goat from
straying by clasping one of her hind feet firmly
between the first and second toes of his right
Down a steep incline our bullocks scumbled
into the sandy bed of a river wh;th in rainy
weather is the largest river in this section of
the country. Toddy shops, toxWy shops every-
w^here ! These are merely narrow roofs of thatch
held up by poles and protecting the earthen pots
of toddy and their keepers from the sun.
A car of Juggernaut — a Hindu temple on
wheels — stood under its cover at the foot of the
hill. Years ago, the Juggernaut cars used to
play an earnest and terrible part in the religious
life of Hindus throughout India. Frequently
during a procession some fanatic would throw
himself beneath the w^heels of a car and be
crushed to death. Though the cars still make
occasional journeys, the English Government has
forbidden the destruction of life, so the ceremony
has lost to the Indian mind its chief attraction.
Farther on was a queer little stone monkey
At Tardur, our first stopping place, the story
had gone about that we had put a special drug
in all the medicines to make those that should
drink turn Christian, so only a few patients, and
those timidly suspicious, came to us. We were,
therefore, surprised when an old woman, her
dark face all smiles and her tongue going at the
rate of three hundred words a minute, rushed
into the tent, and evidently overcome with joy
or gratitude threw herself at our feet. By tact-
ful questioning we learned that she was the
mother of a Medak hospital patient whom a year
previously we had cured of a serious illness.
"Where is your daughter?" we asked.
**She is coming but she is young and afraid.
I will fetch her." So saying, the woman de-
parted. An hour or two later she reappeared
with the daughter, who shyly salaamed.
"I have brought her," said the mother trium-
phantly, "that she may kiss your feet. I have
abused her all day that she has not come before.
Why are you afraid of the kind white ladies?"
turning to the girl angrily.
"I am not afraid," replied the girl. "Why
should I be afraid? Was I not in their hospital
and did they not sit beside me and smile and hold
my hand? No, I am not afraid," and, with eyes
bulging from their sockets with terror, she
dashed wildly through the tent door and away!
When an aged man started to drink the medi-
cine we had given him, his equally aged spouse
hastily turned his head toward a little stone god-
dess near by with the indignant remark, "How
can you expect to be cured unless you turn your
face toward the devil Poshamma and make sa-
laams?" Miss Posnett, however, immediately
took the medicine from him.
"No," she said, "this medicine is the gift of
Jesu Christie. You must make salaams to no
other god while drinking it."
The old man begged the medicine back and,
gazing in terrified perplexity now at his wife and
now at Miss Posnett, hastily gulped it down.
While in Tardur, we examined our Christian
school, composed of a dozen tots, true village
children, who stood in a neat row and answered
bravely — all but one. She, a girl of four years,
seemed very bashful, restless and ill at ease, con-
stantly getting out of line and hiding behind her
elder sister, a sedate motherly child of seven, who
as constantly pulled her back. Suddenly, in one
of her dives behind her sister, the baby divested
herself of her one garment, a diminutive red sari,
and stood forth quite naked and smiling serenely,
her self-consciousness completely gone with her
unaccustomed garb. All of us except the sister
of the youthful Eve laughed heartily. She — poor
child! — shocked to the core of her being, hastily
retreated with the culprit, who soon reappeared
with the offending garment once more draped
about her plump figure.
Another move and we came to the village of
Parpanapett, where our blind queen awaited us.
There are, I feel sure, few villages in India love-
lier than Parpanapett. It lies near a wide blue
lake with rocky banks, the stone towers and high
walls of the palace fortress and the rajah's gar-
den, a paradise of bloom, forming a picturesque
When we called on Her Highness she gra-
ciously invited us to inspect the palace and, as
her blindness prevented her from accompanying
us, she sent one of her adopted sons instead. It
was beautiful to see the reverence of these tall
men for the frail old lady who has adopted them
to fill, in some measure, the place of her dead
son. Since the Rajah's death the palace has been
given over to bats and other vermin. Only the
zenana portion is inhabited, and we wandered
through one desolate room after another; saw
the exquisitely carved but worm-eaten chairs and
tables, bed frames, and even an English bookcase ;
groped our way up the narrow stone staircases;
smashed our topees in the low doorways, and
finally emerged into the tower, where we had an
extensive view of the country.
After the Parpanapett Rajah had died a cat-
tle plague descended upon the village. You may
not see the connection, but the villagers of Par-
panapett saw it clearly enough and, dressing up
a dummy to represent the dead Rajah, they daily
sacrificed large numbers of sheep and goats be-
fore him to satisfy his angry spirit.
Our superintendent had joined us and in the
evening after the medical day was over a re-
ligious meeting was held.
Some years before, our evangelist who had
tried to preach Christianity in this village had
been cruelly persecuted but by patience and cour-
age had won the day and now his persecutors had
come to be baptized. It was one of the most sol-
emn and touching ceremonies I had ever wit-
The gray-haired men, gathered courageously
together, asked earnestly and intelligently about
their duties as Christians, and listened carefully
while Mr. Posnett explained to them how serious
was the step they were taking.
*'We are brothers in Christ," impressively said
their chief, the erstwhile leader of the persecu-
tion. "If we stand side by side and help each
other to be strong, how can hatred or persecu-
tion matter to us?"
*'And you must try to bring your children to
the feet of Christ," said Mr. Posnett.
"Ha!" smiled one old man, "if the father be a
Christian will the son dare be aught else?"
The Lombardies, who had their camp near
ours, were a source of never-failing interest to
us, a multiplicity of pariah dogs helping them to
keep up one continuous performance in motion
Young Lombardies are usually handsome and
well developed. The dress of the women is com-
posed of bits of cloth of every variety of color,
sewed together after the manner and with the
effect of a "crazy quilt," pieces of looking-glass
and mica glistening from every part of their
dress, while their large, coarse ornaments of iron,
brass, bone, wood and precious metal make their
every movement a loud jingling clank. Lom-
bardy girls must have completed their entire cos-
tume — no easy task — before they are married,
and, if you have ever seen the costume, you can-
not wonder that they rarely attempt a second.
The rags and tatters to which a dress is reduced
as its wearer approaches middle life merely add
to the attractiveness.
The gypsy folk are as shy as wood birds. Only
death staring them directly in the face would
coax them within the doors of a hospital. If
they wish our medical treatment they make their
home under a near-by tree, while we visit them
there and minister to their needs. They are an
industrious people. You never see a Lombardy
sitting in the sun with listless hands, stopping to
gossip for an hour at a village door, or begging
for help. The tall, full figures are alive with en-
ergy and independence. As a Lombardy woman
walks through the streets, a great bundle of
sticks is on her head and in her hands is sewing
work on which she is busily engaged. It is not
surprising, then, that the Lombardies are rarely
poor. Almost every family owns large herds of
Each year on one of their feast days, the
Lombardy women come around to the bungalows
and dance the famous "Lombardy dance," rising,
bowing, bending sidewise and backward, squat-
ting, swaying, all with admirable grace and
rhythm; wizened, gray -haired women joining
hands with handsome young girls and round-
At bedtime every night on this tour to Par-
panapett we had our cots pulled out under the
trees and, as we sank to sleep, we drowsily
watched the glare of the camp fire on the dark
faces surrounding it, for in the evening half the
village comes to gossip with our people.
So, picknicking outdoors for all our meals,
and sleeping under the trees, with the Southern
Cross blinking at us from the horizon, we trav-
eled slowly homeward.
As we neared Medak, we passed the Indian
mail-carrier. Resting on his shoulder was a
strong, pointed stick on which his bag of mail
was slung; at the end of the stick a cluster of
little bells jingled musically as he trotted along at
a swift, steady pace, while immediately behind
him at the same pace ran his guard with drawn
sword in hand.
OFF TO KASHMIR
THE famed Vale of Kashmir was our goal
one year for the May rest, and the five
English ladies and I went there together.
At one of the stations where we made a long
stop we had an opportunity to observe the details
of a Mahomedan prayer. The bearded old man
spread his rug before him, and, facing Mecca,
began, in the light of the dying sun, his prayer
to Allah. He touched his face rapidly here and
there, now in front of the ears, now behind them ;
placed his clasped hands together; made a low
obeisance, touching his forehead to the ground
several times ; stood or sat with hands on knees
in the attitude of meditation; and so on through
the whole time. Somebody came up and con-
versed with him; but the interruption seemed a
matter of small moment. After a leisurely chat,
he continued his prayer as before. Then he
rolled up his rug, tucked it under his arm, and
walked slowly away. Noticing the time, I found
that the prayer itself, not counting the interrup-
tions, had taken just nine minutes.
Three or four alligators sprawled on a sandy
island in the almost dry river bed beneath the
bridge over which our train passed.
A herd of wild deer gazed innocently at us
from a wood near the track, then turned and
bounded swiftly into the brush.
Grazing peacefully in a green field by the
track was a herd of the small, hump-shouldered
Indian cattle, with deer-like faces, resembling
our Jerseys at home; the picturesque boy cow-
herd in loin-cloth and turban shaded his eyes
with his hand as he gazed at the passing train.
In purple pajamas and red chuddah, an el-
derly woman bent low over something she was
gathering in a near-by field. She did not look up
as the train passed. The signs of the times were
naught to her!
A young woman, clad in nothing but a loose
red cloth fastened about her loins, balanced on
her head the family water jar, her slim body
swaying gracefully as she walked swiftly across
A jackal trotted leisurely over the plain,
turned to look at the train rushing toward him,
and scampered away with curious, sidewise leaps.
Up and down one of the platforms walked a
group of Parsees. The gentleman of the party,
in English dress except for his black, scuttle hat,
Swing bridge of Kashmir
Snake charmers and jugglers
OFF TO KASHMIR
led by the hand a little girl whose rich, olive com-
plexion and dark, liquid eyes, and the green
gauze veil draped artistically about her head and
shoulders, seemed altogether out of keeping with
the white English frock, the long, white panta-
lettes and the black shoes and stockings which
formed the rest of her costume. The Parsee
ladies wore soft silk saris of a delicate tint, with
narrow, richly embroidered velvet border. The
elder woman had the usual white cloth bound
tightly about her head, this indicating that the
wearer was married.
A herd of slate-gray, sleepy-eyed buffalo, with
horns three or four feet long standing out at
right angles from their heads, trailed past.
Then we were in the Punjaub, and we fre-
quently saw a camel on the maidan, or an ele-
phant trudging ajong the road with slow, ma-
The people of the North, whose diet is wheat
and pulse instead of rice, showed the effect of
this better nourishment and of their colder,
dryer climate in their fine physique and pride
of carriage, as compared with our people on the
Lahore, Kim's city ! And there were little Kims
everywhere about the streets. Our guide showed
us the points of interest, among them Zam-
Zammah, Kim's big gun, which stood close
to the Museum. We pictured Httle Kim hurling
abuse down upon his playmates from the top of
the huge cannon; and we turned to the Museum
where the simple, mild old Lama found a sym-
pathetic soul in the keeper of the "Wonder
House" ; but the doors were locked and our train
soon due, so we did not go inside.
The last railway station on the way to Kash-
mir is Rawal Pindi, and from there you have
still before you one hundred miles of mountain
road along the River Jhelum before you reach
the Valley, rejoicing in a temperate climate at
the height of fifty-five hundred feet above the
Arranging for our baggage to follow us, we
made the journey over the mountains in carriages.
After two years on the hot plains, it was bliss
to draw deep into the lungs the cool, life-giving
air of the pines; to see the white clematis and
hawthorn, the pink roses and sunny buttercups
on every hand, the shy wild strawberries hiding
their crimson among the grass by the way, and
the dainty maidenhair fern covering the rocks
in a lavish expenditure of riches. When the
delicate fragrance of the wood violet greeted
our nostrils, we were tempted from our car-
riages for a short rest on the mossy banks be-
OFF TO KASHMIR
side the road where the blue darlings were thickly
scattered. Suddenly a patch of snow in the
brush caught our eye, and we promptly indulged
in an old-fashioned snowball fight. It was great
fun, but our drivers were so frightened that
their teeth chattered. They thought we w^ere in
earnest, and begged us to make peace with each
other, until, in mercy to the poor fellows, we
gave it up, and our laughter, as we climbed back
into the carriages, seemed greatly to relieve their
We stopped for the night and for meals at the
well-equipped dak bungalows all along the route,
where frequently we met pleasant fellow-
For four days we traveled through that mag-
nificent mountain scenery where Feramorz won
the heart of his Lalla Rookh.
Hundreds of feet below our pathway the
Jhelum River brawled and tumbled. Far above
us the snow mountains stood out against the sky
hemming us in on every side until, as we gazed
at them, w^e felt chilled and awed by their so-
lemnity, but the golden bird-songs from the
meadow told us of warm, throbbing life, and we
turned again to the flowers and the butterflies.
An immense drove of camels coming down
from the Khyber Pass met us one day. Some of
the camels were wee babies and the funniest,
fuzziest Httle fellows imaginable.
There also met us a party of big, rough-look-
ing Afghanese, with peaked turbans and long
coats, and several groups of those polyandrous
mountain people in whose family the woman
reigns supreme, like a queen bee, over her half-
We were lunching in a grove on the way when
a pack of great, white pariah dogs rushed to-
ward us. Leaping, growling, fighting, they sav-
agely snatched the bread from our hands and
from the basket beside us. We did not argue
the point, but hastily left the scene and the rem-
nants of the lunch.
Toward the end of our route, the long-haired
Kashmir goats appeared, balancing on sharp
pinnacles or jumping fearlessly from crag to
On the mountains along the way we frequently
saw signs of human life, bazaars to tempt the
traveler, villages with the ever-present fort, and
old mosques and temples which I could with
pleasure have examined more closely.
So we rode on until the mountain pass gave
way to the broad and verdant plain, and we left
our carriages for the dhiinga which our Srinagar
hostess had sent to meet us.
OFF TO KASHMIR
A dliunga is a large, flat boat of old walnut
wood beautifully hand carved in all sorts of in-
tricate designs, with roof and sides of matting.
Sometimes the boatman and his family put them-
selves into harness and trudge along the bank,
dragging the dhunga by ropes; sometimes they
all get inside and paddle it slowly along by means
of a peculiar oar — a long handle and a heart-
Within the dhiinga there is every comfort for
the traveler, a tiny suite of rooms, dining room,
bedroom, dressing room and bathroom, and an
open space in front for a sitting room. Each
of these rooms is shut off by matting curtains,
and back of all the boatman and his family live.
This was our first view of the natives of Kash-
mir, people who well deserve their reputation
for physical beauty. The large, well-knit fig-
ure, the clear, olive skin, with damask rose show-
ing on the cheeks, and the handsome Jewish
features seem to speak of superiority in every
way ; but, alas ! they have been for so many cen-
turies a subject people, that now, mentally and
morally, they have only a quickness at repartee
and a cringing good nature to recommend them.
The costume of both men and women consists
of a number of loose, long coats with full sleeves.
In cool weather they pile on extra coats and help
the warming process by tying about the waist
under their clothing a kangra (a clay, basket-
covered pot) full of live coals.
The women and girls wear a great deal of
cheap, showy jewelry, and arrange their hair in
numberless thin plaits, tying all the plaits to-
gether at the end with a narrow, black ribbon
which hangs almost to the ground.
The Kashmiris have the praiseworthy custom
of washing themselves and their clothes occa-
sionally — once every six months by strict com-
pulsion of the Government.
Peasants of Kashmir address every white
person as "Huzoor" (Your Highness). This was
a custom unknown to me when I asked our boat-
man what I should call the sweeper or refuse-
carrier, one of a class which, throughout India,
are outcast of the outcastes.
"Htizoorf" inquired the boatman, meaning,
"I beg your pardon, what did you say?"
*'0h, 'Husoor/ is it?" I said, quite satisfied,
and for many days I continued, in my ignorance,
to address the poor menial as "Your Highness."
The dJiiinga bore us along down the river, out
through Wular Lake, the largest lake in India,
and wonderfully beautiful in its perfect tran-
quillity with the brilliant reflections of the snow
mountains in its depths, on to the river again,
OFF TO KASHMIR
and so to Srinagar, where we found our house-
Place the rooms of a summer cottage end to
end, mount them on a carved walnut barge, place
a veranda on top of all, and you have a Kash-
Most of the European visitors in Srinagar live
in such houseboats and move about the city — a
real Venice of the Orient — by means of graceful
little shikarras (native rowboats).
Obtaining the necessary permit from the Resi-
dent to remain in Kashmir for a time, we sur-
rendered ourselves to a life of "sweet do-nothing-
ness" in that love-haunted and loveliest of vales,
With its roses the brightest that earth ever gave,
Its temples, and grottos, and fountains as clear
As the love-lighted eyes that hang over their wave.
AGAIN our train sped toward Medak and
work and reality !
Our first stop on the homeward
journey was at Amritsar, the "City of the Sikhs."
Before we entered the Golden Temple,
cloth shoes were tied over the "unholy" leather
of our footgear, and in these we "galumphed"
about and saw the "sights."
Day and night, one priest or another drones
out the sacred words of the "Granth" before an
ever-burning lamp. It was a peaceful sight^
the disciples, the youth of the Sikhs, seated about
the old, white-haired priest, listening to the words
as they fell from his lips, while the temple doves
helped themselves to the wheat spread out on
the floor as an offering to the gods, or in friendly
fashion took the grains from our hands.
The Sikh costume seemed to me the most manly
in India. The lower garment made of thin, white
cloth in the form of trousers, short and full and
falling to the knee, impressed me more favorably
than the effeminate flowing dhoti or the long
skirt. The Sikhs never cut the hair or beard,
and usually wear about the turban the chekram,
a steel ring or quoit, thin, flat, and razor-sharp,
which they can throw, when occasion requires,
with deadly skill.
A good-natured 03-0/^ in charge of the wait-
ing-room at the Amritsar station brought us our
tea. As she placed the tray with its tempting con-
tents before us, she wiped her well-oiled hair and
sweat-bedewed face with her broad, brown hands,
exclaiming, "Very hot. Missy Sahib!" Then,
before we could prevent her, she seized a slice
of the delicately browned toast and, crushing it
in her hand, held it out toward Miss Richardson,
asking innocently: "You liking toast, Missy
Sahib? You eating toast?"
"Well, not now," replied Miss Richardson,
whom fever and the intense heat had left with
little appetite in any event, and, turning white
about the mouth, she suddenly left the room,
while the ayah looked after her in amazement.
A few stations farther on Miss Richardson
and I left the rest of our party and went some-
what out of our way to visit Lucknow and Cawn-
pore, the cities that suffered most in the great
Mutiny of 1857.
At Lucknow we engaged an ekka to take us
to the ruined Residency.
An ekka is the queerest little cart imaginable
— a small wooden platform on two wheels, with a
canopy for a top and drawn by a single horse.
On the wooden platform one must sit cross-
legged like the Indians, or let the feet hang down
over the wheel, as the English usually prefer to
do. So, holding our skirts away from the wheels
as best we might, we rattled and jounced merrily
along to our destination.
The buildings are a mass of vine-covered ruins
full of great holes and gashes where for five,
long, heart-breaking months the ''millions of
musket bullets and thousands of cannon balls"
poured in unceasingly.
We climbed to the "topmost roof" where all
through the siege the "banner of England blew."
The flag of England still flies on the mended flag-
staff. As fast as worn out, it is replaced by a
new one, and always floats proudly over the ruins
below, the only flag of the British Empire that
is never lowered.
We heard again the story of Jessie Brown, the
Scotch girl, how she had dreamed she heard
the pibroch and prophesied the immediate coming
of Sir Colin Campbell and his Highlanders, and
how that very day the pibrochs really sounded
and a loud cheer from the earthworks told that
Sir Colin had arrived.
We saw the gap in the wall caused by the
bomb which ended the life of the brave and be-
loved commander, Sir Henry Lawrence, and out-
side the great white marble cross that marks his
resting-place. On it are inscribed the words
which he himself requested for his epitaph:
Here lies Henry Lawrence who tried to do his duty.
May the Lord have mercy on his soul !
Bom 28th of June, 1806. Died 4th of July, 1857.
Leaving the Residency, we visited several
other buildings, all vibrant with memories of the
siege; looked with interest on the Bailey Guard
Gate held so bravely by Lieutenant Aitken and
his loyal Sepoys; gave a few coins to the totter-
ing old Indian bJiisti (water-carrier) who had
been the bhisti at the time of the siege, and
dashed away to the station with barely time to
catch the train for Cawnpore.
On reaching Cawnpore, we lost no time in
driving out to see the "Angel."
Poor Cawnpore of tragic memory ! A place of
memories only, the smiling green of to-day hid-
ing all traces of the bloody, pitiless carnage
enacted there fifty years ago!
We strolled leisurely about, inspecting Maro-
chetti's beautiful white marble statue which
stands above the well where the bodies of the
British women and children were thrown. In
front of a cross the angel stands, looking down-
ward, her arms folded on her breast and the
palm branch of martyrdom in each hand, the
tender peace of her face seeming to banish all
hatred against the perpetrators of the deed which
she commemorates. On the pedestal an inscrip-
Sacred to the perpetual memory of the great com-
pany of Christian people, chiefly women and chil-
dren, who, near this spot, were cruelly massacred
by the followers of the rebel Nana Doondoo Panth,
of Bithoor, and cast, the dying and the dead, into
the well below, on the 15th day of July, 1857.
An octagonal Gothic screen surrounds the
statue, and over the arched entrance are the
"These are they which came out of great tribu-
Outside this screen is a circle of cypress trees,
and the whole is in a wide park rich with verdure.
We were charmed and awed by the beauty
and solemnity of it all, but the intense heat and
glare of noonday soon made us long for the
shelter of our carriage. Our driver, being an
Indian, was, by the city laws, forbidden the
grounds, so we had told him to wait for us at
the gate. We walked quickly back to the gate,
but the carriage had vanished. Calling loudly,
we waited. Minute after minute went by, but
there was no sign of the driver or his vehicle,
and we never again saw either. Not knowing
which way to turn, for we had been too busy
with the sights of the city to notice our route
from the station, we asked several of the
passers-by where we might find a carriage, but
all replied in the same apathetic voice and with
a shrug of stupid indifference, "A carriage?
How should I know where you can get a car-
riage?" Then we asked: "Where is the railway
station?" And the answer came with the same
shrug: ''The railway station? How should I
know where it is?" So we turned back into the
garden to wait, hoping our driver might return.
In circling about we lost our bearings, and, try
as we might, could not find the entrance again.
After a half-hour of fruitless search I spied a
drain-hole under the fence. It was dry and
choked with dead leaves, but, by pushing the
leaves away, there was room for a person to
squeeze through, and, lying flat on our faces, we
did so. Rising and brushing the dust from our
clothes, we found ourselves in a strange street,
and looked up and down in vain for a white
It was the hottest part of the day in the hot-
test month of the year in the hottest city of all
hot India. Miss Richardson's eyes and cheeks
were flushed with fever, and when we espied
a wayside pump we almost ran toward it. A
copious draught of water seemed not to allay
in the least our thirst. Time and again we left
the pump only to return to it before we had gone
a hundred yards away, drinking deeply each time,
until I felt quite prepared for the old Chinese
form of execution. (Man filled with water —
board across stomach — two other men jumping
on board — result evident!) But something had
to be done beyond the drinking of water unless
we wished to perish with sunstroke.
**Ah !" I exclaimed suddenly, ''there is a chim-
ney and smoke. That means a factory, and a
factory means a white man. Ship ahoy!" and
we hurried toward the blessed smokestack, my
chest swelling with pride at my Sherlock Holmes
deduction. Arrived at the smokestack, we found
it surrounded by a high board fence and on the
gate in large black letters, "No Admittance."
Much we cared for signs and symbols just then.
We pushed the gate open with bold hand and
''Sahib half" (Is the master in?), I asked of
an astonished Indian.
"Hai" (He is in) was the laconic response.
"We would see him." So we were led into a
large, comfortable-looking office, where at the
desk sat a middle-aged English gentleman with
a kindly face. Two hours under the fierce noon-
day sun had quite upset my nerves, and I could
have wept for joy on the man's neck, but, for-
tunately for him, restrained myself. He heard
our story, immediately ordered iced water for
us, and sent for a carriage. Conversing pleas-
antly under the cool punkah, we drank the de-
licious water, and by the time our carriage ar-
rived felt quite refreshed. As we rode along in
its grateful shelter, we admitted that we had
for once known the full force of Tennyson's
"heat like the mouth of a hell."
The thought of anything except the open air
on such a day was intolerable, so we continued
At the ghat, where the treacherous river mas-
sacre took place, a memorial temple is in charge
of an old Indian who receives a pension from the
British Government. He said he had witnessed
the whole tragedy, and told us of that terrible
day on the river. With tears streaming down
his face he exclaimed: "It was not the Sahibs
nor the Mem Sahibs, but the baba log (children).
Oh, the baba log! I could not bear it!" And he
hid his wrinkled old face in his hands.
A handsome memorial church stands over the
site of the pitiful little fort where for three
weeks, in a temperature ranging from 130 to
140 degrees Fahrenheit all day, three hundred
starving, poorly armed British men, fighting with
the mad courage of desperation, the sight of their
helpless wives and little ones goading them on,
kept at bay more than three thousand Sepoys,
well fed, having abundant ammunition, and fight-
ing at two or three hundred yards' distance from
behind bullet-proof defenses.
In this memorial church we saw the colored
sketch, made by an English artist a few days
after the tragedy, of the room in the Bibi Ghar
where the traitorous miscreant, Nana Sahib,
caused the slaughter of the women and children.
Clotted blood lay deep on the floor; saber-cuts
showed low down on the walls; bloody finger-
stains were everywhere; the children's quaint,
old-fashioned bonnets, shoes and socks, blood-
stained and torn, mingled with broken combs and
toys, torn pages from books, and strands of hair.
All the signs of that fearful confusion were de-
picted, and brought the scene so vividly before
us that we felt sick and faint with horror.
At the station dinner we became engaged in
conversation with an elderly man who had been
a soldier under Havelock and had seen the dread-
ful room in Bibi Ghar shortly after the massacre.
He had a genial smile and a pleasant, courtly
manner for us, but he seemed unable to address
the Indian waiters in anything but harsh, per-
emptory tones. As he spoke of the Cawnpore
events of '57, his eyes flashed hatred and he
seemed as bitter about the Mutiny as if it had
occurred last week.
*'The dogs! The devils! The lying, thieving
rats! I hate every one of them! I'll never for-
give them! Don't you trust them! They'll do
you every time."
The shadow of the Peace Angel's wings had
not fallen across his wounded spirit.
From the day's stifling heat, the temperature
had dropped to a delightful coolness, and after
dinner we started out for a walk. The streets
were full of soldiers, for a large British fort is
at Cawnpore. English "Tommies" swung jaunt-
ily along, with tiny, round caps over their ears;
great, brawny Highlanders strolled by in short
trousers of plaid and the bonnet of the Scot;
and now and then a gaily dressed British officer
dashed past us on a handsome, well-groomed
horse. It was fascinating, the city with its bril-
liant lights and busy life; and still more fasci-
nating was the sudden change to the wide fields
and quiet roads of the country, where the gentle
rustle of the trees and the occasional soft chirp
of a restless bird were all that broke the silence
of the calm and shadow-subdued moonlight.
The ambient air with Unseen Things was stirred.
And the low music of the moving trees
Sang to the heart. The penetrating stars
And the majestic mistress of the night —
Fair, silver-sandaled moon — on her slow way
Across the spacious sky looked down between
The boughs that parted to the passing breeze,
Perfumed with breath of blossom and of rose.
Of aloe and acacia trees in bloom.
And all the pungent odors of the night.
WOMEN OF INDIA
THE echoes of the Western slogan, "Votes
for Women!" have not reached India.
A middle-aged woman came to our
hospital bruised and bleeding from a beating she
had received at the hands of her husband. She
stated simply the cause of her wounds and asked
medicine for them, while her husband, apparently
unashamed, stood beside her, joining her in the
request for "good medicine." When I took her
into another room to apply the dressing, I asked
indignantly : "Do you Indian women not feel bit-
terly humiliated and resentful when your hus-
bands beat you thus?"
The woman gazed at me in surprise.
"Why, certainly not," she replied. "How else
should we learn wisdom?"
No such reactionary spirit imbued the girl of
Nandagaon, a Christian woman whose case was
tried at court because she had deserted her hus-
band and two-months-old baby. As we were
touring at Nandagaon at the time of her trial,
the patel invited us to be present.
Under a huge banyan tree the villagers had
gathered, the judge, with the other chief officials,
sitting on a bench, where we were asked to join
The prisoner, a pretty girl of sixteen, who had
been brought in from the fields to meet her ac-
cusers, stood in the center of the group, her sickle
in her hand and her red sari girt tightly around
her shapely thighs.
"Let the prisoner speak!" shouted the judge,
and everybody was silent, while the girl, throw-
ing back her proud little head, made her plea
in a clear, defiant voice.
"My husband and I became Christians. Then
all the village people taunted me with cruel
words. When I went to the village well for
water, the other women pushed me away, crying:
'Don't touch our well! Don't come near our
houses!' When I took my baby into the street
they cried: 'You have brought the curses of the
gods on the head of your son. Don't let your foul
shadow rest on us! You are defiled!' I told
my husband. He said : 'Heed them not ! Bear it
patiently!' Could I bear it? Could I? No. I
begged my husband to take me to some village
where there were other Christians, but he said
he could not leave his work here. The women's
curses rang day and night in my ears till they
WOMEN OF INDIA
set my heart on fire. I could not bear it. I ran
The girl stopped, and a clamor of voices broke
forth. Discipline there was none. Now and then
could be heard the judge's voice: "Wait! Wait!
Let me speak 1" But nobody paid the least atten-
tion until each man had decided in his own mind
and bad informed his neighbors what he thought
should be done in the case. When at last the
loud shouts had died to murmurs, the judge
"Your husband, at the advice and with the
help of the kind English people, will settle in
another town among Christians. Will you go
back to him?"
"If I can go back and be told that I have done
no wrong, yes. Otherwise " and a defiant
gesture ended her sentence.
"But your husband will have to beat you a
little that you may not do this wrong again,"
said the judge.
"Then no!" shouted the girl. "I will not go
"Well, well," broke in the husband mildly, "we
could perhaps let the beating go this time. The
babe needs his mother's care. Come home,
woman" — he seized his wife's hand — "and I
promise not to beat you."
So they walked off together, and the court ad-
The almost complete ignorance of the Indian
woman enslaves her to the men of her family.
Mr. Posnett called one day on a high-caste
Hindu prince, and, while they talked together,
the princess, his wife, entered the room. Placing
on the floor a basin of water she had brought,
she knelt down and washed her husband's feet.
When she had finished, she raised the basin to
her lips and drank some of the water. Through-
out the whole ceremony the husband seemed ut-
terly unconcerned. When asked the meaning
of the act, he answered simply, "That? Oh, she
does that every day. For a devout and faithful
Hindu wife it is one road to paradise."
It was in the cool of sunset when we led the
mild-faced wife of a Mahomedan official of
Medak up to the flat roof of the hospital to enjoy
the lake breezes.
"Ah!" she exclaimed, gazing with wondering
delight on the scene about her, "the only outdoor
air I get is in our own courtyard. I remember
the trees of my childhood home, but these I have
never seen before, nor this lake, though for many
years I have lived within a few rods of them.
You English ladies should be very grateful for
your liberty. Even when we go abroad into the
WOMEN OF INDIA
streets our men carry us about like birds in a
cage, only they put a curtain over the cage/*
Hamed, an Arab boy of eight years, with
pleading eyes and girlish features, had been for
two years unable to walk owing to an injury of
his leg. His mother, carrying him on her hip,
brought him to our hospital, and after an opera-
tion and weeks of treatment, he left us proudly
showing us how easily he could run down the
A few days later his mother came to the dis-
pensary door, and I immediately asked, ''How is
"Oh," she replied, "the darling boy is well,
quite well, and runs about like other children.
This noon I did not prepare his dinner soon
enough to suit him and he chased me all about the
house, beating me with a big stick. See!" and
she showed me great blue and bleeding welts on
her arms and legs, "Hamed made these, and for
these I have now come to get soothing medicine."
In the Orient, masculine supremacy runs rife
through the veins of even the infant man-child.
A woman came into the dispensary leading by
the hand a boy of perhaps five years. When I
had heard her story and offered her medicine
to drink she shrank back, but her small son, in
the most imperious manner possible, pulled at
her san\ exclaiming, "What! You won't drink!
Sit down here at once and drink the medicine as
the Doctor Mem Sahib tells you to!" As she
obediently squatted down, he stood beside her
with uplifted hand and threatened, "Hi, hi!
Drink, I tell you!" until every drop was drained.
From this you will see that the author of an
article in a leading magazine at home had seen
little of Indian home life when he wrote that
the child who could say "Shut up !" to its parents
had never been "conceived or conceived of" in
India. Not only "Shut up!" but the foulest lan-
guage and emphasizing kicks and blows from
child to both mother and father are everyday
occurrences. On the whole, I cannot imagine
any children less controlled than those of India.
After the children are grown, however, there are
an attractive reverence and duti fulness to the
parents unusual in the West. To marry against
a parent's command, to resent physical punish-
ment, even though the receiver far exceed the
giver in size, or to grumble against the burden
of an aged and childish parent, would be, I
should say, quite foreign to the East Indian.
The ignorance of the Indian woman also
makes her childlike in many ways. A doll is
caressed as warmly by the mother of several
children as if one of her own babies were in her
WOMEN OF INDIA
arms, and in many an Indian home, Mahomedan
or Hindu, you will find the grown women playing
happily with toy furniture or toy dishes.
We were frequently invited to a doll's wed-
ding. At one we attended, the small boy of the
house was espoused to the doll-bride with all the
ceremonies and general festivities of a real wed-
ding. A great feast was given and large sums
of money were spent. When we asked to see
the bride, the mistress of the house remonstrated
with shocked face. ''Why, don't you know that
the bride is in gosJia and must look on no face
but that of her husband?" We told her she
could grant us our wish by telling the doll-bride
to keep her eyes down, so she smilingly led us
into an inner apartment.
On a small dais, a bit of cloth shaped some-
what like a woman had been placed in a sitting
posture. It was dressed in the correct bridal
costume — magenta chuddah, crimson velvet pa-
jamas, and green and yellow silk coat. In the
center of what purported to be its face, a loop of
thread held a tiny brass nose-ring; and its neck
and arms and feet were hung with tiny jewels.
Among the many unhappy Mahomedan wives
was one who came to our hospital begging treat-
ment for an acute earache which had kept her
awake for three nights. When I suggested that
she stay in hospital and have the ear properly
treated, she replied: "I will come again, but I
cannot stay now. I have given my husband no
children, so he is marrying another woman. He
brings her home to-day, and I must go and
make the house ready and prepare the wedding
It is surprising, though, in what harmony
these co-wives often live. In a case in the vil-
lage a second wife had a very bad time after
childbirth, and her most tender, devoted nurse
was the first wife who had been discarded for
the usual reason — lack of children. Again, when
a slave girl, one of our patients in the village,
bore her master a son and nearly died in con-
vulsions, the master's wife was a mother to her
throughout. Frequently, when you ask a woman
carrying a child on her hip, "Is this your own
child ?" she replies : '*No, it is the child of my hus-
band's other wife, but I love it as my own."
Ratnamma, a young Brahman woman, was a
patient in our hospital when I first came to
Medak. One night she smiled at me so brightly
that I said to an interpreter : "Tell her that her
face is full of sunshine."
"Why not?" responded Ratnamma. "Great
joy has come to me to-day." Then, yielding to
her quiet urging, I sat beside her on her bed,
WOMEN OF INDIA
and — a nurse interpreting her words to me —
heard her story, the first part of which was al-
ready familiar to me.
At seventeen years of age she had given birth
to the bonny boy who, as she told her tale, lay
asleep in her arms. When the baby came the ig-
norant midwife had injured Ratnamma so that
her husband refused to live with her, and, as is
the custom in Hindu life, cast her out from his
home. As Ratnamma's family was rich and
noble, she did not suffer privation, but the re-
proaches heaped upon her, as upon all husband-
less women of India, made her life miserable.
Then came a message from her husband:
"I shall soon wed another woman, and when
our son shall be weaned I shall take him from
Then was Ratnamma panic-stricken. As no
hakim could help her, she turned in despair and
with scant faith to the despised Christians. Dr.
Watts operated and completely cured her dis-
ability, and Ratnamma sent the good news to
"And to-day," she added, "he has come to me
loving and tender as of old and wishes to take
me and my babe back to his home. Should not
my face reflect the sunshine in my soul ?"
Women of India — wives, mothers, widows —
my heart bleeds for you !
Even the proverbs of India teach hatred and
contempt for women. Here are one or two of the
*'What is cruel? The heart of a viper. What
is more cruel? The heart of a woman. What is
the most cruel of all? The heart of a soulless,
"He is a fool who considers his wife as his
"Educating a woman is like putting a knife
into the hands of a monkey."
When a girl is born a wail goes up from the
entire village who have been anxiously waiting
for a boy, and curses and reproaches are heaped
on the innocent infant head. Should you at such
a time ask the parents if a child had been born
to them, they would reply: "A child? No, it is
only a girl !"
In former generations girl infants were mur-
dered on the slightest pretext — because of a
divine injunction ; because of a superstitition that
a girl baby murdered would return to earth a
boy; because women, generally thought useless
and expensive, were better out of the world; or
because poverty would prevent the giving of a
suitable marriage portion.
WOMEN OF INDIA
The baby is married, often to a man of middle
age, and long before her half -grown body is pre-
pared, she is brutally compelled to begin her mar-
ital duties, and, when yet in her own childhood,
she becomes, at the peril of her fragile life, the
mother of a necessarily fragile child.
If, through overwhelming misfortune, the
girl's husband die, her sins in some former ex-
istence are supposed to be the cause of his death,
and because of this she is an accursed thing.
Even though but a babe and knowing nothing
of the dead husband, she is, at an early age,
stripped of all ornament, and put in the coarsest
raiment, while her head is shaved close and kept
that way. Despised, spat upon, cruelly over-
worked, starved, beaten, neglected in illness, for-
saken even by those nearest of kin to her, the
child passes her days in abject terror and despair,
until death, usually not long delayed, blessedly
When a child is about to be born the expectant
mother is thrust into the cowshed or into the hot-
test, closest room and the darkest and dirtiest
in the house, to await her trial, and her life and
the life of her unborn child are entrusted to the
ignorant wife of the low-caste barber. With
foul instruments she intrudes on nature's honest
efforts, often when nature needs no assistance.
When need for assistance does arise, God pity the
poor victim of the midwife's malpractice! The
heartless brutality used is not a fit subject for
print. It is enough to say that in such cases the
babe often loses its life; the mother nearly al-
ways. It is customary in India to ask when one
hears of the birth of a child: "Did the mother
A slender little girl of ten was brought to the
hospital by her husband, a tall, muscular man of
forty. The child shrank piteously from the man,
who held her firmly by the wrist, and she seemed
overjoyed to leave him for our nurse, who led
her into the examining room. When I learned
that the merciless brute, transgressing even the
lax Indian ideas of decency and justice, had com-
pelled the consummation of marriage and had
injured his child-wife so seriously that only a
grave operation could restore her health, I felt
like shouting aloud to all the women of the happy
Western world to help me crush the evil system
responsible for the soul-sickening condition of the
little patient before me.
Scarcely able to control my indignation, I re-
turned to the husband and bade him "listen to
my words of wisdom."
"Do you wish a son?" I asked. That struck
the right chord, and he replied: "Does not every
WOMEN OF INDIA
man wish for that more than for aught else?"
"Then hear me!" and I proceeded to tell him
simply and frankly why he was defeating his
own object. When I had repeated and re-
peated my arguments, I had partly convinced
his asinine brain — no, not "asinine," that were
an insult to the worthy ass — that I was right,
and he promised to show consideration for the
helpless child in his power and to let her remain
at our hospital for a time.
There is a hamlet about five minutes' walk
from our compound where Brahmans only are
allowed to live, and where there is a sacred bath-
ing-well. In that settlement a wife of fourteen
years was expecting immediate motherhood.
Something was not right; there was alarming
delay; and all the wisdom of the midwife and of
the old men and Vv^omen had been called upon to
furnish help in the dilemma. As is usual in such
cases, a ring of children, among wh*om were of
necessity two boys bearing the names Rama (one
of the names of Vishnu, God of Preservation)
and Lakshmanna (the masculine form of Lak-
shmi, Vishnu's wife), encircled the well, and a
brass bowl filled with the sacred water was passed
from one child's hand to another's until it had
gone the round three times. Meanwhile the suf-
fering girl had been brought to the well and the
boy Rama handed the water to her to drink.
Even this charm failed; so at last they all ad-
mitted it would be wise to seek help from the
I was asleep in my cot on the veranda when
a man's voice aroused me,
*Tlease come quickly, Honorable Doctor Lady"
— and the matter was explained to me.
In a moment I was ready and the messenger
and I were on our way, when we met another man
who told us there was no need of my services
for the child was born and all was well. I went
back to bed and heard nothing more of the case
until five o'clock the following afternoon. Then
a messenger came in haste and said that a lie had
been told me the preceding night; that the child
had not been born, but that they had wished to
try, without my interference, another "trick,"
which was that a man should go quietly behind
the patient's head without her knowledge and
suddenly discharge a shotgun close to her ear.
The "trick" had been carried out — the messenger
continued — the dead child had been instantly
born, and the young mother had screamed with
pain for many minutes and then had gone into
convulsions. When I arrived on the scene the
patient was rapidly passing from one convulsion
into another, and I saw instantly, and told the
WOMEN OF INDIA
people, that the poor girl had been done to death.
I stayed by her side until dawn, when her spirit
took its flight from her tortured body.
My God, can such things be !
Hast Thou not said that whatsoe'er is done
Unto Thy weakest and Thy humblest one
Is even done to Thee?
A WILD beast scare had stirred the whole
district. In villages bordering on
Medak three babies had been eaten by
tigers. A leopard seized a sleeping boy and
began to drag him to the woods. The boy's
screams roused his father, who caught him by
the legs and fought madly with the leopard for
possession of the child. At last the screams of
both father and son frightened the beast, and,
letting go its hold, it fled. The boy's face was
torn completely through from mouth to ear, and
his father brought him to our dispensary at Sur-
janna, where Miss Posnett sewed up the wound,
which healed nicely.
As Miss Tombleson and I strolled along the
Ramyanpett road one day, a wolf came out and
stood in front of us, looked us over calmly, and
walked away again.
A few days later there was great excitement in
the compound. One of our missionaries had
seen a wolf sneak behind the cook-house, where,
lying about in the hot night air, babies galore
slept peacefully beside their mothers. The crea-
ture escaped before it could be shot and for-
tunately no harm was done. The wolf stories
told by the people are most thrilling, and truly
the beast has an ugly way of hunting. Finding
an infant beside its mother, it creeps up in the
dead of night and slowly and stealthily rolls the
child away from its protector. Then the sharp
fangs meet in the little throat, there is a quickly
stifled cry, and the mother wakes to see her babe
in the jaws of the wolf as he leaps away into
the darkness. So the wolves, because of the
secrecy of their attack, have come to be more
dreaded than even the man-eating tiger.
Within a few days the wolf that had visited
our compound came again, and fortunately one
of the English gentlemen saw it in time and
killed it with one shot. Then the people, wild
with exultation, danced and sang and shouted for
hours around the gaunt, gray body.
Two of our missionaries returning from Ram-
yanpett reported that a leopard had followed the
bandy for some distance, leaving at last on the
track of wild deer which had just gone on in
That was about the fifth time a leopard had
been seen by our people on the Ramyanpett Road;
and one night a half-grown leopard sprang over
our hospital wall and nearly drove the helpless
nurses into nervous prostration by sleeping till
the dawn in a vacant bed on the veranda.
It was after all this that I saw for the first
time a wild leopard in his native haunts.
We were driving along the Ramyanpett Road,
one of our pet terriers running behind the tonga.
Suddenly the driver brought the bullocks to a
halt, and, pointing to the bushes at the side of
the road, whispered : "A leopard !" True enough !
There in the grass, scarcely ten yards ahead of
us, crouched the savage beauty, his head lowered
and his eyes almost closed as he gazed fixedly
I softly called the terrier to me, and, holding
him fast in my arms, we waited, the driver's eyes
and mine never leaving that mass of spotted vel-
vet in front of us, until fully fifteen minutes had
passed, when the leopard, doubtless tired of our
monotonous standstill, deliberately rose to his
feet, and, with an occasional bound from rock to
rock, trotted slowly ofif into the deeper wood.
We frequently found cobras and other poison-
ous snakes in the bungalows. As I came out of
my dressing room one day, a slight movement
startled me, and there, not three feet away, a
half-grown cobra was writhing. When I started
at sight of him he raised his head, spread wide
his hood, and darted his tongue at me with a
warning hiss. I did not stop to cultivate his ac-
quaintance further, but rushed out and sent the
servants to kill him. When they arrived, how-
ever, he had escaped.
A cobra had to be chased out of the girls'
schoolyard before they could begin afternoon ses-
sion; and another cobra came, an uninvited
guest, to Miss Tombleson's prayer-meeting for
the coolie women. In the midst of the crude at-
tempts at hymn singing and of the howls of the
babies — a coolie woman always has a babe in
arms — one of the women shrieked and stared at
the ceiling. Following her gaze, the others looked
up and there hung a cobra with a dead rat in
his mouth. The weight of the rat seemed too
much for the snake ; he dropped his burden among
the women, followed it, striking the floor with a
thud, and then, himself thoroughly frightened,
writhed swiftly down the steps and out of sight
under the stones.
One market day as I stood near the dispensary
veranda at Ramyanpett, listening to the singing
of the Christians in the little chapel only a few-
yards distant, I saw an immense king cobra
writhing along the ground close to the side of
the chapel. Suddenly, to my horror, he raised
his hooded head and looked in at an open window
beside which a little schoolgirl stood, singing
lustily. The snake's head was just back of the
child's and not six inches from it. With a swift
prayer that the child might not see the serpent
and make a fatal move, I gave a low, shrill
whistle. The snake turned his head in my direc-
tion, and as he did so I jumped toward him wav-
ing my arms. Instantly he dropped to the ground
and sped into the long grass near by, while my
brain swam with the joyful reaction.
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
THE long Mahomedan and Hindu holi-
days and big feasts occur during the
winter season, hence all the Indians are
too busy merrymaking to attend to their sick
relatives. When I told a Mahomedan gentleman
that his granddaughter would die if they did not
bring her to the hospital, he replied: "I believe
you, Doctor Mem Sahib, but what can we do?
We have no time to bring her now or to stay
there with her. For yet many days the feast
must be celebrated." This practical emptying of
the hospital usually gave us an opportunity for
medical touring, and one winter we planned to
go to some town near the railway. Sending the
other assistants ahead, and taking Abbisha-
kamma with us, we boarded the train at Akana-
One of our fellow passengers proved the first
object of interest. Carefully hidden from sight
behind her hhonrka, it was only when we had
passed the station and she had thrown back her
veil that we saw how old and sad was her face.
With the usual idea of friendliness in India,
Abbishakamma had soon drawn from the lady
She was traveling to Hyderabad to take charge
of the children of her daughter who had just
died. The bereaved mother wept bitterly when
she spoke of this tenderly loved daughter; how
fair she was, how good and true, how intelligent !
She had been ''educated" and could read and
write. "Oh, never before was so lovely a flower
torn from its stem by the hand of Allah!"
As we left the car, the old lady, in extreme
courtesy, slipped off her shoes and, standing
upon the seat, bent almost double in her parting
salaam to us.
Arrived at Wudrarum, we heard the loud wail-
ing for the dead and learned that the patel's
young wife had just died in childbirth. They
were about to carry her to her funeral pyre, so,
much interested in the funeral ceremonies, which
we had never yet seen, we followed with the hun-
dreds of villagers.
The litter on which the body was borne con-
sisted of two long, parallel poles, to which were
fastened transversely, with ropes of straw, seven
pieces of wood. The shroud was wrapped around
the body and bound strongly with straw ropes,
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
the face left uncovered, and flowers scattered
The relatives and friends and the villagers be-
sides wailed loudly as the litter was carried along,
the mother's \vail rising shrilly above the rest :
Oh! the apple of my eye; Oh, my darling; my blissful
Oh ! the apple of my eye, where hast thou hidden thyself?
Oh ! my flower, where hast thou hidden thyself ?
and on and on in the piteous "Mother's Wail"
which every Indian girl learns by heart in early
Three times the litter was placed on the
ground and each tim.e the mother wept and wailed
and caressed the dead face of her beloved. At
one of the halts all the jewels were removed from
In an empty field on an oblong pile of fagots,
constituting the funeral pyre, the corpse was
placed. It was then covered with small splinters
of wood, sprinkled with panchagavia (the five
products of the cow) and soaked in oil. The
husband, holding his eldest son — a boy of eight —
by the hand, walked about the pyre three times,
the boy allowing water to trickle from a cracked
earthern coonda he held. At the end of the third
trip around the body, the boy suddenly dashed the
coonda to the ground, shattering it into hun-
dreds of pieces, a symbol of the end of life. All
this time the chief mourners and everybody else
wept and wailed and struck the breast, or, in
couples clasped in each other's arms, they swayed
to and fro in the extremity of grief, or in the
semblance of it in case of the hired mourners.
Now the boy took a lighted torch and set fire
to the four corners of the fagot-pile. When the
flames had caught, the family departed to go
through with the long, tedious ceremonies fol-
lowing a death. The mother of the deceased
must walk around the village for tv/elve or six-
teen days, wailing always and calling out at every
gate: "My child has gone from me!" So, with
the bitter cry, "My child, she was my very own
child!" the poor old creature departed on her
We watched the burning until the body was
utterly destroyed, and when in the morning we
came again the family were ready to gather the
ashes and throw them into the Ganges, taking the
long journey for the purpose, for they were
wealthy people and could afford this "priceless
blessing for the dead."
At the camp, a mother brought to us her baby
boy, an only son, whose life might have been
easily saved by a slight operation. When I ex-
plained this to her and begged her to bring the
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
child to our Medak Hospital, she exclaimed:
"Mari yetlaf Sanipotai, sanipotardoo. Adriish-
tam! Yami chayavallinoof" (And how? If he
dies he dies! It is fate. What can I do ? ) Truly
the overcoming of obstacles is no part of the
The day following was a feast day, but that did
not prevent the patients nor the officials of the
village from coming to us, as usual. But ah, the
splendor of these "great ones"! The blue and
pink flowered satins; the rich velvets with silk
embroidery ; the elegant gold and silver bordered
turbans ! As frankly as a small boy displays his
first trousers they showed us these fine garments.
"See !" they boasted, turning round and round
for our inspection. "Are we not fine in our new
Nothing could equal the careless grace of the
tall pale moonshi as he tossed back his long hair
in the evening breeze and posed for us. With
much ceremony he informed us that they would
immediately begin to collect the money for a
dispensary, as they all were extremely anxious
we should come to them once a week, and that
they had planned to inscribe in large red letters
to cover the entire outer wall of the building the
words, "Doctor Mem Sahib!"
On this feast day presents poured in faster
[than ever, if that were possible, for the tahsil-
dar, the peshgar, the moonshi, and the patel
had during our entire stay in their village vied
with one another in providing us with foodstuffs
of all sorts. When these gifts of food were pre-
sented, the long procession of servants, in their
medley of bright-colored costumes, and bearing
on their heads huge vessels of queer shape,
brought vividly to mind the picture of England's
Christmas in the olden days, "Bringing in the
At Mirzapally, where we next went, black
smallpox was working havoc in the village.
Poshamma, the goddess of smallpox, is con-
sidered by the Hindus an especially powerful
devil goddess, and, as a rule, the Hindus refuse
to give any form of treatment for the disease,
for "Did not the goddess Poshamma send the
smallpox? Shall we not offend her if we try to
cure the victim of her displeasure?"
We were called to a hut where, when I had
become accustomed to the smoky darkness, I saw
on the floor two or three children in all stages of
the dreadful disease. One, a child of three years,
fairly putrid with the worst form of smallpox,
lay with her head in the lap of an untainted girl
of ten. In another hut a woman, stricken down
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
by the black demon and fainting with weakness,
suckled her healthy babe. Alas, poor India!
Mirzapally is on the railroad line to Hydera-
bad, so we snatched a holiday "in town."
We called on Mrs. Nundy, and then, in a hired
tonga, drove to Secunderabad. Our driver's
brutality to his skeleton horse so disgusted us
that, after vainly begging him to stop whipping
the poor beast with such unnecessary severity, I
devised a preventive method. Every time the
horse was struck I said nothing, but, much to the
driver's amazement and in spite of his shrill pro-
tests, I reached over the seat and gave his bare
arm a severe pinch — twisting, torturing ! At last
his dense brain grasped the "cause and effect"
idea, and the horse was allowed to trot on un-
molested, while the driver meekly nursed his
At the Secunderabad post office I asked the
cost of registering a parcel "from Secunderabad
to New York City." After a full hour's search
for the information in question, the Hindu gentle-
man in charge of the registry department closed
the books over which he had been poring, and
remarked in a grave, emphatic tone: "Madam,
you are mistaken in the name of the city. There
is a New York State, but there is no such place
as New York City!"
From Secunderabad we came back to Mirza-
pally and journeyed on to Sandampett. We were
just settling ourselves to dinner the first evening
when a tall form enveloped in a gray blanket fell
at my feet, and in the patting and stammering
which followed, I could recognize only that
another grateful patient had found us out. Then
he arose and we beheld the patel of the village,
a handsome man of twenty-two, who, the year
previous, had undergone a serious operation in
our hospital. I recalled that when he came to us
I had feared for his life; and it was a real joy
to me to see, instead of the thin, hollow-eyed
youth I had known, this fine, strapping fellow.
He had forgotten not one of the kindnesses
shown him in his illness.
"Did you not smooth my hair and call me your
son ? Did you not watch over me day and night
with loving tenderness?"
And so, over and over, he enumerated every
act of ours during the anxious time of his illness
until our butler gently but firmly reminded him
that it was eight o'clock and we had not yet dined.
Then, reluctantly, he left us.
Our grateful patel had played "advance agent"
to such good purpose that over three hundred
patients came to us next day, the patel standing
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
outside and urging the people to come quickly
and in numbers.
"Do you fear the Mem Sahibs because of their
white faces? There is no fear, I tell you; there
is no fear ! They work no evil ; they work all
good; they bring hope to the hopeless and health
to the dying!"
The whirl of things kept us from realizing our
weariness until the sun had gone down, when,
with an involuntary sigh of relief, we saw the
last patient depart, and started out for a little
stroll on the banks of the beautiful lake back of
How can the Hindu be aught else than poet
and dreamer with such scenes continuously be-
On one side sparkled the broad, blue lake dotted
with white water lilies and with wild duck by the
hundred floating on its surface; on the other,
huge, tumbled boulders gazed majestically down
on dainty, blue grass-flowers and rich, purple
In the rice fields beyond row on row of women
labored, chanting while they worked, their red
garments in striking contrast with the green of
From this fair scene we strolled to the mango
tope near our camping place, and until darkness
fell watched the hordes of monkeys which
romped unceasingly among the giant trees.
These big monkeys, though amusing enough in
their tree-homes, sometimes descend in great col-
onies upon a village, and then the destruction they
wreak is frightful. In a few minutes a roof has
its tiles completely off, or a large rice field has
not a dtib's worth of rice left in it.
Another rushing day was followed by another
walk. As we turned back toward camp our path
led along the high, narrow bank of the lake,
which on one side sloped steeply to the water and
on the other led sharply down twenty feet to a
pile of rocks in the mango tope. As it happened,
all the hundreds of monkeys had decided to oc-
cupy for the night a tree that hung over our
path, and when we, of necessity, passed beneath
them and so near that we might have touched
them, their rage was unbounded. Amid the
screaming and chattering of all the monkey col-
ony, ten or twelve large males rushed down the
limbs toward us as if they would tear us to pieces.
We knew that the least sign of fear would prob-
ably be fatal, so past the blazing, green eyes,
the fierce, white teeth, and the eager, clawlike
fingers almost at our throats, we marched stead-
ily with our heads high; but the thumping of our
hearts nearly choked us, and when the danger
Watering the rice-fields
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
was past we sat down on the grassy bank white
and weak and trembling.
At noon, next day, the jugglers and snake-
charmers came — Hermanns without the stage-
settings. They produced rabbits from nothing-
ness; spouted fire from their mouths; raised
mango trees before our eyes from seed to fruit;
and charmed their glistening cobra-pets with the
soft music of their pipes.
A babe of two was with them, and the bored
look on the little face as he twined a cobra or
python around his tiny neck or pulled it about as
if it were an inanimate toy was comical enough.
It was the boy of twelve years, however, that
held our gaze. His gypsy face, his tangled hair
falling low over his shoulders, a dirty turban set
sidewise on his saucy head, his ragged coat and
dhoti, his nimble gestures, his bright, impudent
smile, and the art in his voice as he played his
part, bewitched us, and all too soon he picked up
his queer, native drum and strolled away in the
wake of his masters.
Two performing bullocks, great, beautiful
beasts with the hump on the back much enlarged
by vigorous massage from their youth, enter-
tained us for a time. All decked with bright
ribbons and little, tinkling bells, they chased play-
fully about the field after their master and pre-
tended to gore him, or made deep salaams to us
with knees bent and with head touching the
As night came on we were about to move away,
and already our tent was packed, when our evan-
gelist said the people were begging us to stay
and talk about our religion.
So down in the moonlight we sat, and as far
as the evangelist's voice would reach were clus-
tered men and women, all listening eagerly to
his words, now and then nodding their heads in-
telligently or rubbing their hands with glisten-
ing eyes of assent to some special point.
One of the men came up to us and begged us
to take his boy into our school. *'Do you know,"
he said, "ten years ago white Padres came and
talked to us of your Christ and we all ran away
afraid of being cursed, and now if we dared we
should all be Christians."
Then song followed story and story followed
song, until we thought they would never be satis-
fied. At last, one by one, they straggled ofif, and
by midnight all were gone.
At Kalvakoontla a warm reception greeted us
from some grateful patients of old. As these
"grateful patients" happened to be the chiefs of
the village, they filled the tent, and when, after
talking to them awhile, we begged to be excused,
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
for hundreds of people were waiting outside for
medicine, they laughed carelessly: "Oh, never
mind those people, they can wait." Still we did
manage by strenuous endeavor to treat practically
all who came.
Kalvakoontla is a jagir village; that is, a vil-
lage given by the Nizam to some one man for
services rendered, and all the revenues of the
village are thenceforward paid to this favored
man, and all law is in his hands. In fact, the
village is a tiny, independent state. Here the
Dacoities and other bad men flock, for they are
beyond the reach of law unless the owner of the
village punishes them, and he has this power only
if they commit the crime in his village. The
Jagadir of Kalvakoontla was sick and had
begged us to see him. A kindly old graybeard,
he lay comfortably in bed on his veranda hid by
vines from the street, and talked to us in a loud,
"I have just a little fever; I wish you would
send me some medicine," he said, as I felt his
"Have you had any medicines yet from the
hakims f* I asked.
"Indeed I have not," he replied emphatically.
"I'd rather die than drink black men's medicine,"
and he grinned round at the group of "black men"
standing near, who took no offense but all grinned
in response. "No, the only medicine I've had is
cahster ile (castor oil)."
"All right, I will send you some medicine. By
whom shall I send it?"
"Oh, by anybody; these people all belong to
The love of medicine runs in the Indian's
veins. A naked baby of scarcely two years
peeped shyly out from behind his mother's skirts
and gravely offered me his hand.
"He has not been feeling well for a few days,"
said his mother. "He wants you to feel his
As we were leaving one of the villages, ten or
more lepers, in all stages of the terrible disease,
came to the tent and begged us to help them. We
did what we could, but our hearts ached at the
hopelessness of it all.
On the homeward journey, we passed through
a remarkably clean and attractive village made up
entirely of Brahmans and other very high-caste
people. There was an eclipse of the moon that
night and the caste people, after greeting us very
courteously, asked us to tell them about the
eclipse and its meaning:
"In your shastras (science or books of re-
NEW CAMPING GROUNDS
ligion) what evil does such a thing as this pre-
dict ? In ours thus and thus will befall."
We explained to them the scientific theory of
the phenomenon, but we might as well have held
our peace, for they only looked at us pityingly as
if to say, "Is that all you know about it?"
WHEN the great Mahomedan feast of
Mahorrum comes to an end, the streets
seem very dull after all the color and
crowding and jollity.
The feast of Mahorrum is held in honor of the
two sons of Mahomet, Hoseyn and Hassan, who
were killed in battle. The feast also gives Ma-
homedans an opportunity to worship all dead
heroes, and everywhere about the village effigies
made of tall poles decked in gaudy cloth and tin-
sel represent these heroes and are worshiped as
saints or pirs. On the last night of the feast
the pirs are treated as real dead bodies, washed
in the lake for purification, dressed in proper
grave clothes, and buried with all ceremony.
Anybody who dies a death of violence is a
"hero." An Arab who was killed last year in a
drunken quarrel was one of the heroes this year
and his pir was worshiped with the rest. One
of the pirs was erected just outside our compound
gate, and throughout the feast men and boys
circled about the pole, waving palm branches
and chanting loudly in time to odd Indian drums,
"Hoseyn ! Hassan ! Hoseyn ! Hassan !" over and
The Mahomedans throw their whole souls into
the celebration; dress their gayest, and laugh
their jolliest. Boys and girls in gold and scar-
let run through the village bubbling over with
joy; for the streets are lined with booths where
men sell the fruits and candy and toys which can
be had only at Mahorrum time. Everywhere
men and boys disguised as tigers or bears or
monkeys frolic in the midst of real bears who
dance clumsily at their masters' commands ; while
the drums keep up their monotonous "jinkity-
jing! jinkity-jing!" Besides the drums, music
of every variety known to the Hyderabad Indian
fills the air. One instrument is somewhat like a
bagpipe in appearance. One pipe is placed in the
mouth of the player and one pipe in each of his
nostrils, and the sound is like a flute accompa-
nied by the humming of myriads of bees.
Of course, beggars abound, religious and
otherwise, among the rest repulsive devil priests
with long, matted hair and wild eyes whose
bodies, splotched with green and red and yellow
paint and powder, are saved from mother-naked-
ness by a scanty loin cloth. Leper beggars, too,
are there, half eaten by their hideous sores.
On the fifth day of IMahorrum, in Hyderabad
City, the procession of the Lungar takes place.
Two or three centuries ago, when the crown
prince of Golconda was hunting in the forest, his
elephant ran away with him and, as the rescuers
started in pursuit, the distracted queen vowed
that, if her son were saved, she would give to the
shrine of Hoseynji Allum, the most sacred in the
kingdom, a lungar (the tethering chain which
encircles an elephant's foot) of pure gold.
The son was saved and on the fifth day of Ma-
horrum the Royal Family, their vassals and re-
tainers, all in gala attire, carried the golden lun-
gar, with much pomp and ceremony, to the shrine.
On every anniversary since there has been held
the lungar procession, all the troops of the Ni-
zam, regular and irregular — about fifty thousand
men — joining in the event.
The Irregular Troops are those of the feuda-
tory princes, who, under a system somewhat like
the feudal tenure of old England, give revenue
and military service in payment for land held.
The Lungar is the greatest holiday of the
year in Hyderabad, and the city gives itself up
entirely to pleasure. People from the surround-
ing country swarm into the place by thousands,
and the streets are a mass of many-colored life.
On Lungar day the Prime Minister is ac-
customed to invite to tiffin two or three hundred
guests who witness the parade from the balcony
of his palace. One year, through the courtesy
of the chairman of our mission society, several
of us received an invitation.
Our party was at the palace in good time, and,
waiting for the procession, we laughed and
chatted with each other, v^-atched the gay crowd
about us, and felt no impatience. Prince George
and Prince Conrad of Bavaria were there, the
British Resident and his family, and the officers
and ladies of the Secunderabad garrison, besides
many of the Civil Service people, for all the Hy-
derabad w^orld turns out for the Lungar pa-
His Highness, the Nizam, w^as not in town;
but in the private gallery next to us, which is al-
ways reserved for the Nizam and his family, sat
the royal children. The boys gaily frisked about,
but the girls, two mites of three and five, sitting
quietly on chairs, while their ayahs slowly fanned
them, were charming pictures in green and gold
pajamas and slippers and long overdress of
sparkling gauze reaching to the knee, with topees
of green and gold to match the pajamas.
In the great courtyard below, w^here the pro-
cession enters, wheels and salutes the Nizam and
the Prime Minister, the villagers were making
merry with all sorts of buffoonery, the Mahor-
rum ''Tiger" with yellow stripes, long tail, and
the mask of tiger's face, being a special feature
Suddenly the courtyard cleared ; the procession
was drawing near.
The Rocketeers were in advance and as they
reached the saluting point, they discharged their
Then came a number of elephants, fantastically
painted in all sorts of color designs, with long
saddle cloths of velvet and cloth of gold, and
bearing on their backs carved howdahs of silver
or gold containing the princes of the Dominions,
dressed in richest materials of brilliant coloring,
often in pure cloth of gold.
One two-year-old prince, sitting quite alone in
his howdah, looked down gravely from his ex-
alted position as if he fully understood the dig-
nity of his rank, his many jewels and his scarlet
velvet coat, embroidered in gold and with a wide
gold border, flashing in the sunshine, which also
lighted the gay trappings of the horses and riders
of his dozens of attendants who rode close beside
the elephant and watched anxiously their baby
The Camel Sowars followed, the camels richly
caparisoned like the elephants, but their riders in
costume somewhat quieter than that of the occu-
pants of the howdahs.
The well-disciplined and smartly uniformed
police force which followed rested us slightly be-
fore the Irregular Troops burst into view, Bed-
ouins, Sikhs, Pathans, Nubians, Arabs and Af-
ghans, horse and foot, jumping, dancing, howl-
ing, chanting, throwing weapons into the air or
discharging their guns.
The performance of the Arabs reminded me of
the Scotch Highlanders dancing the sword dance,
but the Arab's dress is rougher, his gestures
wilder, and his yells more ferocious.
Each body of Irregular Troops was com-
manded by its gorgeously costumed chief seated
in a howdah on the back of an elephant as splen-
didly decked out as its rider. These chiefs were
preceded by a native band of musicians whose
ear-splitting "music" and Dervish dancing, with
drawn sword waving in air, added to the excite-
ment, until we grew almost dizzy with the never-
ceasing whirl and light.
Then came the Regular British and Indian
Troops, artillery, cavalry, infantry, all quiet and
soldierly. The horsemen were splendidly
mounted and their thin-limbed Arab horses
pranced and danced in perfect time to the music
of the band playing old, familiar tunes, "Swanee
River," ''See the Conquering Hero Comes," or
"Johnny Comes Marching Home."
For three hours the procession trooped past,
the leader of each division stopping in front of
the palace, to salute the Royal Family and the
Then it v^as all over, and we ate the cake and
drank the tea of prosy modern life.
AN APRIL HOLIDAY
BECAUSE the Indian climate was fast sap-
ping her strength, Miss Richardson had
to leave us for England and Miss Tomble-
son and I accompanied her as far as Bombay.
On our way we stopped at "Mukti," Kedgaon,
to see the marvelous work of Pundita Ramabai
among the child widows of India. A bullock
gharri conveyed us quickly from the Kedgaon
station to Mukti, where we were introduced to
Pundita Ramabai, a hazel-eyed, curly-haired lit-
tle woman, barefooted and dressed in a sari of
coarse white muslin. After a pleasant chat with
the Pundita and her charming daughter Manora-
mabai, we visited the various departments of the
Our next stop was at Poona to see the mission
work of the Sohrabjis, those wonderful sisters
(children of Parsees converted to Christianity)
who have been so successful in uplifting their
After dining with Miss Susie Sohrabji, whom
I had known in Philadelphia, we called on her
mother and her sister Mary, both of whom pos-
sessed Miss Susie's charm of manner; and this
family charm seemed communicated even to the
big, amber-colored Persian cat who drew his
claws gently across our hands in a caress or
strutted up and down with his plumed tail proudly
In Bombay we visited at the first opportunity
the Parsee "Towers of Silence" on Malabar Hill.
With morbid interest we watched the vultures
as they sat on the top of the white, rounded walls,
Then we turned cityward, gladly welcoming
the sight of the blue waters of the harbor, and
the exhilarating touch of the salt breeze — sure
enemy to gloomy meditation.
Our next goal was Elephanta Caves. A steam-
boat leaves Bombay in the morning for the island
on which the caves are situated and returns in
the evening; but when we reached Apollo Bunder
and saw the merry little tom-tits skimming here
and there through the water we decided to en-
gage one. It was a less easy task than we had
imagined, not, however, for lack of boatmen. At
the intimation that we wanted one of their boats,
the men fairly swarmed about us. Through their
excited jabber came one persistent, nasal whine,
AN APRIL HOLIDAY
"My name, Ibrahim 77; I your best man; you
liking my boat, Mem Sahib!" until importunity
won the day and, turning toward the owner of
the voice, we requested him to prepare his boat
for us. And we did not regret our choice, al-
though "Ibrahim "jf^ made an earnest effort at,
not "highway," but "waterway," robbery.
"You not giving me more money, I not taking
you to the shore," he threatened.
We had been a few years in the Orient, and
were old hands at the game.
"Very well," I laughed, "this is a jolly little
boat; we can stand it as long as you can. We
agreed to pay you so much and just so much will
Several more of his efforts were silenced by
our laughing indifference; then he gave up and
proved a good-tempered and obliging pilot.
As our tom-tit danced over the sun-flecked
waves in the strong breeze, we filled our lungs
with the long draughts of the salt sea air and
sang snatches of song to pass the time; for the
caves are seven miles out from Bombay.
At the island we were besieged by small boys
who had for sale beetles of a glistening blue-
green color; and tiny, golden wood lice. Miss
Richardson bought two or three of the living
jewels for her brother's museum.
We found the caves much like those at Ellora,
only there were fewer at Elephanta.
These dingy rock temples are weird places with
the monster faces of the stone gods peering out at
you in the semi-darkness from every pillar and
wall, like a band of misshapen giants stealing
upon you unaware.
Refreshing ourselves with ginger ale from a
small shop near the caves, we started on the long,
wearisome walk in the hot sun, over the wide
stretches of sandy beach, broken here and there
by a tall and lonely palm tree, toward the landing
of the regular steamboat to Bombay.
Now came the time of farewell. Mrs. Adkin
and the children had come to Bombay previously
to take the same steamship on which Miss Rich-
ardson was to sail; and Miss Tombleson and I,
as we watched the gallant ship plow her swift
way westward, felt desolate indeed, for, in the
intimacy of lonely jungle life together, your
friends grow very dear to you.
Before leaving Bombay, we called on several
acquaintances and visited in the way of sight-
seeing the Rajabai clock tower and the famous
Victoria railway station. Then, purchasing at
the large, well-equipped Crawford Market a bas-
ket of mangoes and pineapples for the Medak
people, we began our homeward journey.
AN APRIL HOLIDAY
At one of the stations we saw two entirely dif-
ferent types of "holy beggar." One, a wild-
haired, fierce-eyed fakir, sat cross-legged on the
platform, with his torturing hooks and knives and
bed of spikes beside him. The other was an old
Sanyasi or Brahman, who had reached the "last
life" on earth. A look of unutterable peace was
on his face; in his hand he held an artistic little
brass begging-bowl; while by his side stood his
IN Hyderabad, we got but the lightest zephyr
from the Swadeshi storm sweeping over In-
dia. "Swadeshi" means ''our own coun-
try." The Indian people in various sections of
the land are rising against their English conquer-
ors, boycotting English goods and filling the mag-
azines and newspapers with seditious matter.
The chief instigators of the trouble seem to
be the Indian laborer, ignorant and emotional,
whose handicraft has been superseded by machin-
ery, and his living thereby taken from him;
the men who feel that they have been wronged in
not receiving an appointment after passing the
Civil Service examinations ; and those who, from
selfish and corrupt motives, rouse in young, in-
flammable students a false "patriotism."
It is generally admitted, however, that bad in-
dustrial conditions are back of it all, and these
conditions are daily growing worse and worse.
While salaries and incomes are fixed by iron-
clad custom, the price of supplies and the amount
of taxes increase with the advance of civilization.
Of laborers the world over, those of India re-
ceive the poorest wage in proportion to the cost
Then, too, the tariff laws of the Government
give no encouragement to home industries. It
naturally follows that the frequent "cornering"
of necessary food supplies, such as wheat or rice,
means to thousands of families cruel hunger and
Much of the trouble comes also from an in-
herent lack of ability in the East Indian to over-
come obstacles. But these obstacles are many
and great. Chief among them are, perhaps, the
laws of caste and of labor, fixed two thousand
years ago and to-day rigidly adhered to by these
worshipers of ancestors and of past customs.
Every man must do the same work and in the
same manner as his fathers have done. Should
he attempt improvement — which he never does —
he would be boycotted. Each separate occupa-
tion means a separate caste, and when an Indian
loses caste he loses all. He is ruthlessly thrust
out from his little world; his own family will not
even speak to him ; no one of his caste will eat or
drink with him; and from everybody he meets
with nothing but curses and contempt.
Another obstacle is the extreme illiteracy of the
Indian. Of the entire nation, including the
learned Brahman class, more than eighty per
cent of the men and ninety-nine per cent of the
women can neither read nor write.
Still another obstacle is found in the fact that
two millions of "holy beggars" fasten their teeth
like vampires into the throat of India.
Then, also, the continuous heat of his country
and the general practice of endogamy, together
with the semi-starvation of generations, have so
impoverished the blood of the Indian peasant
that often the mildest disease — a disease to which
we of the West would give scarcely a second
thought — conquers and kills him; he expects ill-
ness and is surprised when it does not come to
him ; he looks forward with apparent equanimity
to his annual attack of dysentery and rheumatism
with the rainy season and of bronchitis with the
winter season ; and when he does fall sick he ex-
pects death rather than life.
Besides all this, the Indian is improvidence per-
Among Indian coolies, both husband and wife
are wage-earners and work equally hard, giving
all they have to the support of their families.
Mr. Posnett, trying to raise the pecuniary level
of the coolie, offered, instead of the universal
twelve dubs (three cents) a day to the woman
and sixteen dubs (four cents) to the man, to
raise the woman's wage to sixteen dubs.
"What!" exclaimed the men, "shall our wives
earn as much as we? No, indeed! The women
would soon become hardened with pride. Pray
leave us as we are!"
A man has often refused to accept as an inheri-
tance a field of land unless he can sell it imme-
diately, "because," he says, "I have already one
field to till; it provides enough food for myself
and my family when the rains are good. An-
other field means extra work and taxes, and, if
there is food for to-day, why trouble about to-
Therefore, any little mishap in the weather is
tragic. Too little rain or too much means famine
immediately and terrible suffering; and an empty
purse meets the grievously burdensome, religion-
compelled expense — often a year's income — of a
wedding, a funeral, or a religious feast. Money
must be borrowed at from twelve to one hundred
per cent. What, then, can keep the Indian peas-
ant from the clutches of the merciless money-
lender, and the peasant's child from being sold
as a bond servant or "slave of the soil" to pay his
father's debt? What hope has he of better days
to come when his daily food might be increased
in quantity beyond a starving allowance, and in
variety beyond rice or lentils or coarse grains;
when his house might be built of something more
substantial than mud; when his furniture might
exceed a few cooking pots ; and when an increased
self-respect might expel a few millions of the
vermin of every variety which infest with im-
punity his dark and sufifocating hut? How can
his view of life be other than sad-colored; and, in
the midst of his difficulties, what can he do but
sit inert uttering his hopeless, ''What can I do?
If I die, I die!" or kiss the white man's feet and
beg for help ?
Another mighty obstacle to the progress of the
Indian is that he never seems to learn wisdom
from precept, example or experience.
I had entered into conversation with one of
our coolies "who is more intelligent and progres-
sive than most of our working-people. He spoke
of the threatened Russian invasion of India.
"We should not object to the English Govern-
ment," he added, "if it would free us from the
greed of the money lender. Usury is the ruin of
our country!" and he brought his fist down on
his knee with emphasis.
A wild impulse seized me to experiment in this
"Listen to me !" I said. "Let's try to get rid of
this sort of thing, at least among the people of
our own compound. I will lend you money when
you need it and you will pay me three per cent
interest yearly, the interest payments to be made
monthly, until, at your own convenience, you pay
the principal. I will ask no security and no ques-
tions. Deal fairly with me, and I will deal fairly
The coolie grinned delightedly.
"Trust me, Honorable Doctor Lady!" he con-
The next morning he came to my door.
''Honorable Doctor Lady, I need ten rupees.
According to your suggestion of last evening,
will you lend me that amount?"
I gave him the money and explained carefully
that he must, when he received his next month's
salary, come to me and pay the interest on ten
rupees in cowries (small shells, one hundred
and sixty of which are worth one American
The story of my unprecedented philanthropy
spread rapidly throughout the compound and in
a short time I had lent the fifty rupees which I
had resolved to spend in learning whether the
Indian peasant could be helped out of the grasp
of the money lender.
A month passed and the interest fell due. The
interest on each rupee was less than one-twelfth
of a cent, but no interest appeared. I called sep-
arately on each of the people to whom I had lent
the money and asked them for the small interest
due. Each one replied with profuse apologies
that he could not pay the interest. Then to the
coolie I had first helped I delivered a long lec-
ture, telling him how his dishonest dealing with
me had cost him more than he realized, and how
he could have no more pity from me on account
of the money lender's usury.
He listened respectfully and when I had fin-
ished replied, "Truly you have spoken, Honor-
able Doctor Lady. I have been dishonest. I
have not paid you the interest as I promised, but
I am your son, and I hope you will not refuse to
lend me ten more rupees which I require to-day."
All that was months ago ; yet never have I seen
one dub of principal or interest from any of the
people to whom I lent the money.
It was after this banking experiment of mine
had failed that on a certain day one of our house
servants came to me weeping piteously.
''Honorable Doctor Lady," he cried, "I can
bear this no longer. Every time I pass the money
lender's door, he abuses me with vile words be-
cause I cannot pay him five rupees I have bor-
rowed from him. Pray, pray give me the five
rupees that I may pay my debt to him and hold
my head high among my people!"
I gave him the five rupees and he departed
grinning widely. The very next day the same
servant came again to me.
"Oh, Honorable Doctor Lady, the money-
lender still abuses me. Pray give me five rupees
that I may pay my debt to him and hold my head
high among my people !"
"Why," I cried in astonishment, "only yester-
day I gave you money to cover the debt which
you said was all you owed him."
"Truly you have spoken," sobbed the graceless
scamp, whose alcohol-laden breath came heavily
to my nostrils, "but I spent that money for to-
bacco and other necessaries, and the money-
lender still abuses me."
Reverting to the Sivadeshi problem, you will
agree with me, I think, that, considering the char-
acter and environment of the Indian, he seems
ill prepared for a successful revolutionary move-
ment against England.
When I was in Calcutta, I asked one of the
most progressive and best educated Babus if he
thought the Hindus could, were the Government
turned over to them, rule successfully their own
"No," he replied emphatically, "not yet. Our
Hindu people are too weak physically, mentally,
and morally. We are too diversified with our
hundreds of different castes and different lan-
guages. The dissension and hatred among the
various castes would be enough in itself to pre-
vent a Hindu government from being successful.
Then, there are the Mahomedans. Though there
are five times as many Hindus as Mahomedans
in India, the Mahomedans are physically strong
— born soldiers — and in war they would conquer
us. The English rule is just, far more just than
Moslem rule could ever be ; the Government gives
to the Indian people many high judicial appoint-
ments in the civil service, and the lower class of
executive appointments ; some of the English peo-
ple are very good and kind ; but the English and
the Indian are so different; they do not under-
stand each other — and the English do not love
us" — he smiled rather bitterly. "You will under-
stand better what I mean if you will notice the
concentrated contempt of the Anglo-Indian in his
utterance of those two words, 'the natives.' "
TO THE HILLS AWAY
AT hot weather holiday time, Miss Wig-
field, Miss Tombleson and I set off for
We had long promised ourselves a visit to the
"Marble Rocks" of Jubbelpore, so at Jubbelpore
station v^e stopped off and began our ten-mile
drive to the "Rocks."
A good driver, a speedy horse, and charming
scenery made the way seem short. Swaying
bamboo clumps formed long avenues, and groves,
rich with fine mango trees, held colonies of mon-
keys, gray and brown, which chattered at us as
It was almost dusk when we arrived at the
Nerbudda River and our guide hurried out the
pleasure boat for the two-mile row between the
cliffs of pure marble fifty to eighty feet above
the narrow but "bottomless" river.
As we climbed into the big boat, a naked baby
boy stumbled over the rocks behind us, sobbing
wildly. On asking an explanation, we were told
by the boatman that the child was his son and
loved the boat-ride; that he wept because they
were leaving him behind, "fearing he might an-
noy Your Honors." Of course, we told the man
to bring the little chap aboard, and the fat urch-
in's beaming smile as he snuggled down in the
bottom of the boat well repaid us.
Snow white, with streaks or splotches of red,
blue, gray, black or yellow, the marble rocks glis-
tened above us. On ledges of the cliflf, ungainly
baboons settled themselves for the night's sleep,
their figures plainly outlined against the white of
the marble. Countless swallows' nests were
there, and bees' nests of enormous size. Our
guide told us how a foolish soldier had fired his
gun at a bees' nest, and how the bees had in-
stantly attacked him and stung him to death, his
companion escaping only by swimming the river
and running through the woods at full speed, the
bees several times almost conquering him.
At the end of the row, where the river narrows
into a ad-de-sac, we climbed out and waited on
the shore for the moon to appear. While we
scrambled among the boulders and picked up
specimens of the colored marbles lying all about,
the boatmen climbed up the hill and, building a
fire, sat down for a good smoke. Then after an
hour of pitchy darkness, which we beguiled by
TO THE HILLS AWAY
singing, the great round face of the moon came
peeping over the horizon. Higher and higher it
rose and at last smiled full on the marble cliffs.
Oh, that transparent brilliance! Shall I ever for-
get it, or the row back again with the glittering
white walls of rock towering over us and throw-
ing off sparks like diamonds where the marble
was cut and broken?
In the morning we visited the Jubbelpore
Thuggee Jail, one of the best known in India. In
former years the majority of the prisoners were
Thugs, but the jail at present holds criminals of
all kinds, and excels in the manufacture of tents
A courteous English official showed us over
the place. Every time we came to a set of pris-
oners, they instantly placed their working imple-
ments on the ground and, squatting down, held
their open palms up toward us until we had
passed. We were told that this was to show the
absence of any weapon of attack.
We watched with special interest the carpet
weaving, and marveled as the skilful, swiftly
moving brown fingers transformed the mass of
colored thread into a rug of beautiful design.
Life in a jail like this must be rather pleasant
to the Indian laborer that is not entirely aban-
doned to laziness. Nobody is taxed beyond his
strength with work; all have good food; are
kindly treated and their caste prejudices are re-
spected; while the sick are cared for in a well-
equipped hospital. The object of the superin-
tendent is to keep the prisoners up to a certain
standard of weight and health, to get the best
work from them and the least possible illness.
To an active Western man the lack of freedom
would be the greatest drawback ; but the average
Indian is contented with a room six feet square
in any location. The hard couches built up out of
solid earth might also seem a cruelty to the West-
ern mind, but the Indian at home sleeps on the
mud floor of his hut. This seems to be a matter
of preference, for, in our hospital, tape-strung
cots, such as we ourselves slept on and consid-
ered somewhat Spartan, were provided for the
patients, but, in the early morning, I often found
that they had slipped from the cot to the floor;
and, when I asked why, they would answer: *'The
cot is so soft, it makes my bones ache."
Here in the jail, as at home, the Indian has his
blanket and a little straw if he wants it. The
unhappiness of the Indian prisoner seems to come
solely from the compulsion to steady if not hard
labor ; and in his absence from his family.
Leaving Jubbelpore, we came one evening at
sunset to the Sakrigali Ghat and the Ganges
Tree ferns of India
TO THE HILLS AWAY
River. That sunset was one of the most impos-
ing I had ever seen, the whole western sky a
glory of pink and purple, scarlet and gold.
Facing the lurid light the many "Faithful" on
board the steamer — gray-bearded men, young
lads and little boys — knelt side by side on the big
deck and went through their elaborate evening
supplication to Allah.
Odd-looking, square-sailed boats floated on the
Ganges, and everywhere along the shore hun-
dreds of Hindus bathed in the sacred river.
At Siliguri, where the real ascent of the moun-
tain begins, the little Darjiling-Himalayan Rail-
way train waited to take us and hundreds of
other people up to the cloudland above, and soon
the diminutive locomotive was looping, circling,
and zigzagging in the most perplexing manner
as it pulled us slowly up the mountain-track.
The forests were filled with beauties and won-
ders, lemon, orange, and fig trees, orchids, mighty
bamboos, and the famous tree-ferns, which fre-
quently reached as high as a two-story house,
each frond being six feet or more in length.
Then gradually we came to the plant-life of a
cooler zone, the laurel, magnolia, geranium, the
oak, and the chestnut, and, everywhere, the white,
the silver, and the scarlet rhododendrons made
the world delightful with their rose-like blossom
and lemon fragrance.
One of the most amazing sights in these damp,
moss-covered woodlands was the "strangler," a
climbing tree w^hich winds about some straight-
growing tree, and slowly chokes it to death and
crumbling ruin, the spiral, empty sheath of the
deadly parasite telling the doom of its victim.
Our eyes searched vainly through the dense
woods for any sign of the wild animals which are
said to abound in these forests, when suddenly
Miss Wigfield called out, "O girls, look! An ele-
phant!" Quickly scrambling to Miss Wigfield's
side, we eagerly gazed out but saw immediately
the joke that had been played upon us and joined
in Miss Wigfield's laugh at our expense. A tame
elephant with children playing fearlessly about
him lazily swayed from side to side in the door-
yard of a mountain hut, while with a young tree
which he had pulled up by the roots and now
grasped firmly in his trunk, he scratched his thick
hide with seeming deep content.
At Kurseong we thrilled with travel enthusi-
asm to know we were but nineteen miles from
As we climbed higher and higher, the white
purity of the cloud wreaths on the mountainside
stood out strongly against the green of the forest,
TO THE HILLS AWAY
and, as we neared Darjiling, the mountain folk,
with Mongolian features and sunny smile, gath-
ered at every station to offer the tourists irre-
sistible yellow raspberries in fresh green leaf
baskets, irresistible, indeed, when offered by the
children, who seemed to me especially attractive,
not with the cherubic beauty of the Kashmiri
child but with the engaging drollery of a Japan-
ese doll, with almond eyes and tiny mouth pursed
COOLIES by the score rushed up to us at
the DarjiHng station, and we gazed in
wonder while our baggage was strapped
to the backs of the apple- faced women, squat and
sturdy; the pack supported by a strap passing
across the forehead, so that the strain came
mostly on the neck and shoulder muscles. Two
steamer trunks, a Gladstone bag on top, and a
large basket in one hand was an ordinary load.
One w^oman carried a small upright piano, bend-
ing almost to the ground beneath her burden.
The women are evidently schooled to this from
earliest childhood, for even the toddling babes
had each its little pack to carry.
The people of Darjiling are a rare mixture.
It is the summer home of the Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor of Bengal, and there is a large British pop-
ulation, among whom we made many pleasant ac-
quaintances. But the natives of Darjiling far
exceed the whites in number. All these moun-
taineers are of the Mongolian type: the lazy,
jolly, honest Lepchas ; the cruel and quarrelsome,
but hard-working Bhuteas; the small-headed,
cringing Thibetans; and the nobler people from
Nepaul, of whom the Ghoorkas, probably the best
soldiers in the world, form the highest class. All
w^ear long, loose, cloak-like garments, belted in
at the waist, and the women are loaded with
heavy jewelry, the turquoise being predominant.
All seem possessed of playful good humor and
physical strength and courage, strikingly differ-
ent from the gravity and timidity of the inhabi-
tants of the plains. Even the children are fear-
less. On our mountain climbs we frequently saw
the sprightly little ones playing about like kittens
on the very edge of frightful precipices. I shall
not easily forget the sick horror that filled me
when, climbing up a path, I rounded a curve and
saw, some yards away, a child about two years
old, leaning forward and far over an unguarded
cliff which fell away some three hundred feet to
the rocks below. But the baby's mother gazed
placidly at him from a short distance away, and,
long before I could reach him, the child turned
and toddled back to the maternal arms. Guar-
dian angels, must, I think, be kept fully occupied
on these mountaintops.
Our "boy," Paulmung, was a Lepcha, of ex-
pansive smile and explosive utterance. When
Paulmung made the simplest remark, we were
invariably startled as if a child had sprung from
hiding and shouted, "Boo!" But his innocent
face, giving no indication of any attempt at fri-
volity, allayed our suspicions, and we com-
manded ourselves in time to make a dignified
There are several good English schools in
Darjiling, and the climate agrees so well with
the Western children that the schools have a
large attendance of rosy-cheeked boys and girls,
bright-eyed and energetic, who form a marked
contrast to the pale, hollow-eyed, listless English
children of the plains.
One of the attractions of Darjiling is the ba-
zaar where the weekly market is held. There,
among the laughing, tumultuous throng, one
may see every product, human and otherwise,
of these mountains. Especially interesting to us
was the "butterflyman's" box of Nature's jew-
els, for there are about five thousand varieties
of butterflies and moths in the Darjiling Dis-
trict, many of gorgeous beauty. Perhaps the
mountain air made us almost as much interested
in the luscious papois, a kind of melon, which
we would carry home by armfuls, always to find
on eating them that we had not brought enough.
Snowy mountain peaks extended all around
us, but they were often obscured by the rain
clouds which are thick at that time of year, and
it was many days after our arrival before we
saw Mt. Kinchinjunga, which, when not dimmed
by clouds, is the glory of Darjiling scenery.
The hope of seeing Kinchinjunga by the sun-
rise light lured us to a night excursion up Mt.
Senchal, a fine viewpoint. At three o'clock in
the morning we started off for the long, dark
On the top of Senchal we crouched down be-
hind a low wall to avoid the bitterly cold wind,
and waited for the sunrise. As the light grew
in the east, we peered forth from our protecting
wall to see if the day were clear. Not a cloud
in the sky, and the light grew and grew, till
the far-reaching snow line burst upon our
vision ! Mt. Everest was there, but the one hun-
dred miles of distance reduced his imperial
height until we could not surely distinguish him
from among the many other thumb-tips of snow
which he resembled. But Kinchinjunga! Su-
perbly proud, supremely fair, she rose above
them all! Silent, awestruck, we watched while
great bands of color heralded the sun. One by
one they covered the mountains until the majes-
tic, cleft peak of Kinchinjunga, and even her
glaciers and icy crags, were plainly visible. Rose
pink, clear gold, rich purple, they glowed; then,
softly, softly, lavender, silver gray, delicate
amber, and the faint blush of the apple blossom.
Now over the mountains came the sun exulting
in his handiwork and smiling proudly down on
those loved children of his, who, of all on earth,
lie nearest to his heart, until they flashed back at
him such radiant glances that we turned away
with dazzled eyes.
In making the homeward trip, we took a
shorter but rougher path down the mountainside
through woods where were orchids by the hun-
dreds hanging among the limbs, and where the
continuous dampness had so clothed the trunk
and branches of every tree with moss that it
seemed a great forest of nothing but moss and
As we came out into the highway, we saw
fluttering in the wind, from the branches of the
trees, hundreds of Buddhist prayer papers, short,
thin strips of paper in block type which are hung
on trees so that the wind may blow the senti-
ment to heaven. All the prayers have one word-
ing, "Om, Mani Padme, Om!" which, translated,
is, "Hail to the Holy One whose jewel is the
Lotus! Hail!"— the "Holy One" meaning
Reasoning that the prayers would be wafted
upward just as well if a few of the papers were
in our private possession, we climbed the bank
and brought away a handful of the curious
We sought out the Bhutea Bhusti (village),
where the temples of the Thibetan lamas are lo-
cated. The first sight that greeted us was the
prayer-pole of the Buddhist. These poles were
numerous throughout the settlement with their
fluttering paper rags which are supposed to keep
away the evil spirits. The clownish lamas, not
in the least resembling Kim's gentle, dignified,
old saint, show you their treasures with childish
delight: the dirty idol, dressed in cheap tinsel,
the great chair, with torn, soiled covering, on
which sits the Grand Lama, and the trumpet
made of a dead lama's thigh bone hollowed
out and one end pasted over with tissue pa-
per. We gazed with more interest at the col-
lection of ancient Sanscrit writings wrapped
carefully in cloths, and at the ponderous "Wheel
In the vestibule were two or three large
prayer wheels, cylinders mounted on long sticks
and filled with prayer papers. The lamas turn
these wheels rapidly, a bell sounding at each
revolution, and repeat monotonously, but with
a wide grin, *'0m, Mani Padrne, Om!" We gave
the first lama a fee for saying his prayers for us,
but when all the other lamas rushed up and
begged us to pay them for saying their prayers,
Climbing up the hill again to Darjiling proper,
we stopped to watch the people weaving, with
their simple, hand-made tools, the strong Thi-
betan cloths which are highly prized throughout
Desiring to see at close range a tea garden,
we visited "Happy Valley," one of the many tea
gardens of the district. Captain Keble, the
genial proprietor, took us through the plantation,
showing us the garden and the up-to-date fac-
tory, and making the various processes clear
Before we finally left Darjiling, we had sev-
eral more glimpses of Kinchinjunga from various
points, one with the brilliant moonlight full on
the snows — a vision ineffably sublime and so far
above our horizon that it seemed more of heaven
than of earth.
On our journey down to the plains we
all, with one accord, voiced Mr. Ruskin's sen-
"The mountains seem to have been built for
the human race, as at once their schools and ca-
thedrals; full of treasures of illuminated manu-
script for the scholar, kindly in simple lessons
for the worker, quiet in pale cloisters for the
thinker, glorious in holiness for the wor-
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
WE were at dinner in the Medak bun-
galow when there stepped into the
room a tall figure. His right thumb,
severed near the wrist save for half an inch of
skin, hung loosely from his hand, the blood
spouting fiercely. He was so smeared with blood
that until he spoke I did not recognize him as our
own Arab peon, Ibrahim, usually the most im-
maculate and dandified of fellows. In a drunken
quarrel, his father had struck at his heart with
a sword. With upraised arm, Ibrahim had
warded the blow, and, although he had saved
his life, he had received several severe gashes.
As I rushed him to the hospital for treatment, the
father ran up and begged me to make his child
Ibrahim's thumb soon became as good as new
except for a slight stififness, though I fear he
still disobeys the Prophet's teachings in regard
to alcoholic beverages.
Every day the unyielding rigidity of the caste
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
system was thrust upon us. Narsamma, an old
beggar woman of the goldsmith caste, one of
the highest, fell and broke her leg, terribly
lacerating the flesh. She was brought to us with
the wound in the shocking condition usually
found in the East — plastered over with cowdung
poultices and riddled with maggots. The poor
creature's system had become so saturated with
the poison that she was too ill to hold up her
head. Her caste people who had brought her to
us promised to provide her with food, as we
knew she would take nothing from our Christian
hands. For a few days all went well, then her
erstwhile caste friends said: "We have done
enough for her; she is nothing to us," and they
refused to bring more food. When I told her
she would die unless she would accept food from
us, she replied simply: "I cannot break my caste."
So we sent messengers to Medak begging the
village goldsmith to give us food for the sick
old woman. In this way we succeeded in getting
enough for her and Narsamma became well and
Two months later she came back to us, plump
and smiling, to bring us a thank-offering of rice
A lovely young girl led her mother into our
hospital courtyard. It was pitiful to see the
elder woman's panic and terror and to hear her
shrieks: "Oh, the dreadful white faces! The
dreadful white faces! L am afraid!" But the
daughter smilingly soothed her, saying: "Don't
be afraid, little Mother! They won't hurt you;
they will make you well." ^ At last we learned the
trouble. The mother was suffering from a hor-
rid cancer of the breast. It had been neglected
so long that it required very careful treatment,
and after an operation I kept the patient in the
hospital for several weeks. During that time
she learned to love and trust us. About four
years later, this same woman staggered into the
dispensary, looking so wan and sad that my heart
sank, for I felt sure the dreadful disease had re-
"No," she said, showing me the straight,
clean scar where the cancer had been, "I have
not come for your medicine but for your love,"
and she threw herself into my arms and wailed
out her sorrow.
Her daughter, while performing some simple
household task, had suddenly dropped dead. We
remembered well the gentle, beautiful girl, and
we grieved with the heartbroken mother. This
high-caste Hindu woman had walked alone
twenty-two miles through the jungle, fording
deep streams and braving the hot sun and the
Medak Zevana Hospital, prayer corner, surgical ward.
Dr. ]Munson with patients.
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
wild beasts, simply that she might hear us tell
her that we loved her and were sorry for her.
I had heard much in the West of the oriental
lepers who kept a distance between themselves
and the rest of the world by their cry, "Unclean !
Unclean!" but in India, though a man be posi-
tively falling to pieces with leprosy and yet have
money enough, many a girl is glad to marry him.
Almost every day I treated lepers at our hospital,
and I never noticed the slightest shrinking on
the part of their friends who had come with
A leper woman, the wife of the richest man
in Ramyanpett, came to our hospital; her at-
tendance was of the best, her palanquin of the
most luxurious, and her silks and jewels of the
choicest, all this in sad contrast to her face eaten
away with the dreadful disease, the blurred eyes,
the ulcerating hands and feet, the awful stench
of leprosy uncleansed. Even as these thoughts
came to me, she stepped forward; and, salaam-
ing, embraced me heartily. I succeeded in my
effort not to shrink from her, but, like Lady
Macbeth, I felt that not even the "perfumes of
Araby" could ever make me quite clean again.
As I heard her story of distress and discour-
agement, my eyes filled with tears and my throat
ached with a longing to weep with her; never-
theless, I could but marvel at her companions,
as they sat beside her, one with her arms about
the leprous woman's neck and the other resting
against her knee, fanning her vigorously, neither
seeming to mind in the least the close contact
with the unfortunate creature.
The prevalence of hydrophobia among the
pariah dogs gives rise to many cases of this ter-
rible disease in the village people; but, with their
usual fatalism and lack of imagination in regard
to the future, the wound caused by the bite of a
dog suffering from rabies is carelessly treated,
if it be not altogether neglected.
One of our coolies, a lad of thirteen, when
bitten by a mad dog, cauterized the wound with a
burning torch and told nobody about it. A month
later, his mother brought him to us in the last
stages of hydrophobia. She was a widow and
he her only son. In the West that would mean
much, but in India it is all; the son provides
for his parents in their old age, and is the one
being who can pray their souls into paradise after
death. I told the mother as gently as I could
that her boy would live but a few hours longer.
She gazed at me a moment before she compre-
hended. Then, with a look of the wildest anguish
and before any of us could prevent her, she
rushed to the side of the struggling, panting
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
victim of rabies, and placed her arm over his
frothing mouth. Again and again he savagely-
bit the limb. The poor mother shrieked with
hysterical laughter at the sight of the dripping
blood ; and so, laughing and sobbing, beating her
breast and tearing handfuls of hair from her
head, she was led away by the village friends who
had come with her. I had begged them to let
me treat her wounds, but they refused, saying:
"Why should she live? Will there be aught in
life for her when her only son is dead?" While
my professional spirit urged me to save her life,
my woman's heart told me they had spoken well.
But hospital scenes are not all so darkly shaded.
One day a palanquin came swinging into the
compound on the shoulders of four bearers,
chanting as they walked.
A young princess from Hyderabad had come
for medical treatment. Her costume of silks and
velvets and jewels brought out strongly her East-
ern beauty ; and her tall, handsome husband, rid-
ing beside her on a spirited Arabian horse,
added, in his splendid costume, just the right
finishing touch to the picture. The moment I
saw the begum with her shy smile I loved her;
and I shall not soon lose the memory of her
charming manners and affectionate gratitude.
When she laid her head on my shoulder in a fare-
well embrace, she said : "In Hyderabad they told
me that the foreigners would kill me. I an-
swered: 'I have seen their smiling faces; they
would kill no one.' Still I was afraid until I
felt your loving arms about me. Now, behold!
I am well and strong. Chee! (snapping her
fingers in the air) I am not dead. I am full of
life and happy, happy!"
The begum before she left us paid well for
her treatment, and a few days later an immense
basket of fine Hyderabad fruits came for the
Mem Sahibs. Not all the thank-offerings of the
Indian people were so acceptable. Sometimes
they would put a strong-smelling, oily brown
perfume on a bit of cotton and stuff it in our
ears or smear it over our fresh shirtwaists till we
were sights to behold. Sometimes they would
take a rose or other flower and, breaking off the
stem to within an inch of the petals, fasten it be-
hind our ears or inside our neckbands.
Two hundred and sixty-three miles by train
and jungle cart, the daughter of a rich merchant
had come to Medak to receive our treatment;
for, two years ago, when she was in great peril,
God had given her life at our hands. This time
the peril was more to her unborn child than to
"Why doesn't the doctor do this and this?"
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
whispered the patient's friends, naming the in-
cantations and barbarous procedures common in
such cases, or **The doctor will kill her, let us
take her away," and the like, but through it all
came the gray-haired mother's trembling, half-
doubting tones, "No, no; she saved my child be-
fore; let us trust her now" — and then came the
blissful moment when the nurse placed a fine
baby boy very much alive in the arms of the
With a great clanking of jewels and rustle of
fine fabrics, Kulsimbhi's family entered the hos-
pital, Kulsimbhi carried gently in their midst.
Her left ankle, swollen to four times its natural
size, was tairly riddled with maggots, and she
was extremely emaciated and dangerously weak.
While we discussed her case, the paJm boxes
were opened and all set to chewing on the pahn
(a betel leaf filled with betel nut, cardamom,
pepper leaf, and lime of the mussel shell, all
folded into a tiny packet fastened with cloves).
I feared Kulsimbhi might lose her foot alto-
gether, but careful examination showed there
was hope of saving it. After the operation,
she felt so much better that for many minutes
she laughed and wept for joy, declaring that our
name should "spread over the earth in its great-
The foot healed at last and, though Kulsimbhi
was still very weak, I felt that she could be
safely discharged from the hospital.
Months later, she came again to see us, and I
should never have guessed that the brisk, young,
bejeweled beauty, who tripped lightly into the
courtyard, her eyebrows and eyelashes black
with antimony, her forehead and cheeks yellow
with saffron specked with gold leaf, and her
nails red with henna, was the sad-eyed, tired
little Kulsimbhi of former days. She was plump
and good to look upon and her foot was abso-
lutely well, the only sign of the old disease being
the white scar line left by my knife.
My heart was especially glad when I could
discharge, "cured," one of my worst hospital
cases, a Mahomedan boy who, falling from a
tree, had suffered severe concussion of the brain.
He had been unconscious for three days when
he was brought to me, and such a bruised,
swollen head! Many a sleepless night hour I
spent in my anxiety over him; but slowly im-
provement set in; a smile came to his mother's
eyes, red and sunken with constant weeping;
and three weeks after he came to us he was as
dear and bright a twelve-year-old as you could
have found in Medak. I called him "Chota
Sepoy" (little soldier) because whenever I en-
The country cart stopping at Medak Hospital
Medak touring outJit
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
tered the room he would rise with a smile and a
most military salute, "Salaam, Mem Sahib!"
As his family left us for their village, fifteen
or twenty miles away, his mother drew her hands
softly over my cheeks, in a pretty, Indian form
"When I started to bring my boy to you,"
she said, "all the village people cried: 'He is
dying; if you take him to the foreigners they
will kill him more quickly, that is all. Their
medicine is not for us!' but I brought him in
faith, and now, behold! I will show the village
people what you have done and will say : 'See my
boy! Did the foreigners kill him? Did they?
No, they are more kind, more tender than a
But it is useless to make a reputation in India.
A few weeks after this some people who had
heard of the boy's cure brought us an old lady
of eighty who had broken her hip two years
ago and had not walked since, and a boy born
deaf and dumb, for "Thou art like unto Allah,"
they said with bov^^ed heads and clasped hands.
"Even the dead rise at thy touch."
Baby Prema Divanna had been a pet through-
out the compound ever since her history began.
Before her birth, her mother, a Brahman
woman of middle age, came to the hospital ac-
companied by a white-haired Brahman widow,
her adoptive mother, who told us that ever since
her adoption the younger woman had been in
disgrace of one kind or another, and she now
wished to hide the illegitimacy of her child,
whose father was a temple priest. Notwith-
standing all this, the old woman waited as pa-
tiently and tenderly on the selfish, whining
creature as an own mother might have done.
One evening as the orthodox Brahman widow,
shivering in the chilly air, with her one thin
white garment drawn closely about her, crouched
in the corner of the hospital veranda that had
been set apart for her, we ventured sympathy:
"We are very sorry all this trouble has come to
you and made you sad."
*'To me," she replied with a patient gesture,
*'is no happiness and no sadness. I merely exist."
She told us then that the ten children who had
been born to her had died and that she and her
husband had gone on a pilgrimage to the shrines
of India ; that after her husband's death she had
adopted the girl, who, later, had brought her so
"Do you believe that after your death you will
see your husband and children?" we asked.
"No," she replied decidedly, "not my children
certainly. They were merely loaned to me;
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
where they are now I do not know. My hus-
band? Perhaps I shall see him, but from afar,
for as he is a man he dwells near the gods."
A few nights after this the old lady, becoming
worried about her daughter's condition, took her
little oil-lamp and an offering of rice into the
garden, and, prostrating herself, called loudly
on "Jesus Christ, the God of the Christians."
It was by no means a conversion to Christianity,
but among her millions of gods she was adding,
for policy's sake, the God of the people who were
ministering to her daughter in her illness. The
daughter herself was calling on her own god,
"Oh Siva, Siva, Siva!" when one of our nurses
said, "Don't call on the Hindu gods! Tell your
troubles to Jesus Christ!"
"Who?" inquired the woman. The nurse re-
peated the name and gave a short explanation
of what the name meant. Without comment the
heathen w^oman continued her wail, "Jesus
Christ, Jesus Christ!"
After the child was born the nurse told us
that the mother had resolved to kill it at the
first opportunity. However, we watched the
baby carefully, and when the time came for the
patient to leave the hospital I said to her : "Will
you sell your baby to me for two rupees?"
"Sell it!" she replied. "I will pay you two
rupees if you will take it and save me the
trouble of casting it into the river." So the baby
became ours and we named her Prema Divanna
Inherently superstitious, the Indian people
find strange ways of deceiving the devil-gods
whom they fear with pitiable terror. A Brahman
woman brought to our hospital her ten-year-old
daughter who was suffering from so slight an
ailment that I was surprised when the mother
fell at my feet in great agitation and begged me
to save the life of her child.
*'0h, save her! Save her! Save her!" she
cried hysterically. When I at last made her un-
derstand that her daughter's life was not in
danger, I asked her why she was so troubled
about such a light matter.
''Do you know my child's name?" she inquired
tragically. "It is Adivi!"
''Adivi" means "jungle," or, in American par-
lance, "backwoods," and I marveled at the
answer, for the Brahmans usually name their
children for some goddess, or give them some
such name as "Moonbeam," or "Lotus Lily,"
"Adivi!" I repeated. "Why have you given
her such a name as that?" Then she told me
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
"Sons and daughters were born to me and I
gave them beautiful names and loved them. The
Devil grew envious and took them from me.
Then this daughter came and I said to myself,
*I will name her "Mistress Dung-heap," and will
drag her through the filth of the stable, for then
surely the Devil will never know I love her.'
But I* could not bring myself to this. I com-
promised; I named her 'J^"S^^' o^ 'Useless
Earth,' and now, even now, see, I tremble for
fear she also will leave me!"
In a few days, however, the girl was quite
well, and the mother, in a grateful farewell to
me, cried out the Indian form of blessing, "May
you have seven sons and may your stomach al-
ways be cool!" (May you never have fever!)
The first attitude of the Indian people toward
us is usually an attitude of suspicion and dis-
like. We are foreigners; we are white; we are
different. Some of the people even go to the
trouble to preach distrust of us in the open ba-
zaar. We had an enemy of this sort in a young
man whose father was a hakim. The influence
of this youth, who could not say enough against
us and against our hospital, kept hundreds of
patients from coming to us. His sister, a girl
of fourteen, became ill with typhoid fever; the
hakim father happened to be out of town, and
the frightened mother brought the child to us.
She had been in our hospital one night when the
father returned. He was very angry and de-
manded his daughter. I told him plainly that
only Western treatment could save his daugh-
ter's life, and begged him to leave her with us.
"You will murder her; I shall have her well
and strong within a few days."
He took the child from us, and in just three
days she died.
Months passed and I saw nothing more of the
hakim, but his active enmity and his son's con-
tinued. Then, again, one evening the hakim's
wife came to me, weeping bitterly.
She said her grandson was dying; that they
had done everything to no purpose, and begged
me to help him. The sick child was the new-
born and only son of my worst enemy. As the
little creature had been born prematurely, and
weighed only two pounds, it, of course, required
very special warmth and care, but I found it
lying on the mud floor of the hut without a
stitch of covering on its body, and with all the
winds of a January night — and January nights
in India are cold — blowing over it. The babe
was chilled to unconsciousness. I seized it at
once and, holding it close to my breast, ran for
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
the hospital. For hours I thought the wee boy
would never again open his eyes, but at last the
treatment took effect and he stirred cozily in his
warm blankets. Then how we fought for that
We made him a pretty "Baby Bunting" suit,
a coat reaching to the feet and high boots reach-
ing to the hips, both of baby blue flannel inter-
lined with an inch thickness of cotton wool,
lined and piped with baby blue silk, and tied
with baby blue ribbons. With the aid of these
doll clothes and of three warm blankets, we kept
the baby's temperature up to the proper mark;
and, knowing that if a moment's carelessness oc-
curred the little flicker of life might die out, we
carefully and personally supervised everything
done for him.
Through it all we had to contend with the
tearful resistance of the baby's family, who did
not quite dare to take the child from us, but who
daily prostrated themselves at our feet and
begged us to conform to their customs in the
treatment of the babe. My reply was always
the same: "Your customs were killing him. Let
us try our customs!"
At the end of three months, when the hot
weather made it safe to do so, I gave him back,
plump and bonny, to his parents. When I left
Medak he was a sturdy little son of whom any
Indian mother might be proud; and the saving
of his life gave his parents full faith in us.
As proof of this faith, the young father,
shortly after I had resigned the baby to his own
people, brought me his wife who was seriously
ill. As he laid her on the bed before me, he said
in trembling tones: *'She is your daughter. I
leave her with you in faith and hope."
When, well and happy, she left the hospital,
the young man fell on his knees and kissed my
feet, sobbing out his gratitude.
We have no warmer friend in India this day
than our once arch-enemy.
It seemed to me that Ramamma would never
recover her sight. Ramamma was a Hindu lady
of nobility who had been blind for a year and
had been treated for two months in our hospital.
Then came a day when dimly but surely she
could see. Slowly her sight returned, and we
rejoiced with her happy family and her happy
Her husband and son, a precocious boy of
twelve years with an almost English face,
proudly brought us an Indian pony as a present.
The man salaamed courteously as he presented
the pony; but the boy, more profuse in his grati-
tude, finished a long presentation speech by sud-
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
denly prostrating himself at my feet. I was
not prepared for this action, and, as I stood, one
of my feet was in advance of the other. The
youthful courtier looked up helplessly: *'Why,
Honorable Lady Doctor, how can I kiss your feet
when they are not together? Put them to-
As I obligingly brought my feet into close
apposition, he grasped them and holding them
tightly, he gently bumped his forehead on them
The phrase in Scripture, "because of his im-
portunity," I readily understood after a brief
acquaintance with a certain impudent, lovable
knave, the ten-year-old son of Rassalbhi, a Ma-
homedan woman, who for many years had
patronized our Temple of Healing.
In the midst of afternoon work at my desk
comes a voice over the lower half of my door:
"Salaam, Doctor Mem Sahib! Will your
Honor from the greatness of your heart grant
to me, Hassan, the son of Rassalbhi, one small
request? My mother has for many long days
felt weakness upon her and she wished me to
fetch her the strength-giving medicine which I
v/as to call for last month."
"But," I expostulate, knowing that his moth-
er's condition is far from serious, "why have
you come in the afternoon? I have often told
you that the dispensary is closed in the after-
noon; you know I am busy with other work at
that time; and when you live so near you should
come in the morning-."
The solemn, oriental eyes take on a reproach-
"I make to you a thousand salaams, Doctor
Mem Sahib! I kiss your feet; I am your slave;
will your Honor give me the medicine?'
For five minutes I reason, command, threaten,
not dreaming to escape the dispensary, but hop-
ing to make him admit his error. His reply
is unvarying and beyond argument : "A thousand
salaams! Will you give me the medicine?" My
time is precious and, as I have often done before
under like circumstances, I surrender ignomin-
iously. When I hand the boy the filled bottle,
he promptly asks me if I will give him a pair of
shoes. In spite of his mother's urgent need of
medicine he seems to have no intention of hurry-
''These are excellent shoes," he declares, spy-
ing my bedroom slippers. "I should like these."
"But they are much too large for you, child."
"Oh no, they are very elegant !" and he clumps
around in them with manifest enjoyment.
I do not yield to him so readily in the matter
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
of shoes as of medicine, but let him clump while
I go on with my work; for I soon learned by
sad experience the value of the Western shoe
and clung desperately to the remnants of mine.
Although your Eastern shoes have a number of
fine points, they stick up so aggressively through
the heel that, in the absence of any trustworthy
cobbler, it requires at least a folded postal card
to keep them properly modified. The soles are
slightly less than an inch thick — saving in
leather is no object — and some day when, your
full trust reposing in those shoes, you have
walked half a mile along a damp road, you feel
a sudden and unusual sense of lightness and
ease. Looking down you find that the sole has
been left behind in the last mud puddle, and
you sigh over the inadequacy of India's glue.
One ought not to complain, I suppose, when the
shoemaker will sit down on your back veranda —
the shoemaker is the outcaste of India and is not
allowed to sit on the front veranda where the
dhirzl or tailor, a high-caste man, has his sewing
machine — and make you any number of shoes at
only sixty cents a pair with all that extra leather
of the sole thrown in.
Queer and original ideas the patients some-
times gain from the Bible stories. We asked an
intelligent high-caste Hindu woman, who had
spent a few days in our hospital, to tell us the
story of the Prodigal Son. This was her ver-
"A man had two sons, and the younger son
asked his father to give him his portion of the
inheritance. This the father did. Then the son
went to a far country and rapidly squandered
his money in gambling, drinking, and a bad life.
Finally, with the few rupees he had left, he
bought china and set up a china shop in the ba-
zaar. But he was very lazy and fell asleep.
While he was asleep he stretched cut his foot and
lo! the china fell to the ground and broke into
little pieces. Then what should he do? He was
obliged to ask employment as a swineherd. But
he had not enough to eat, so he stole for him-
self the food of the swine. The master, having
noticed that the swine grew thinner and thin-
ner, spied on the bad son, and found him eating
their food. Whereupon he gave his unfaithful
servant a great blow and a painful, which
brought him to his senses, and he said to him-
self, *I will arise and go to my father,' " the nar-
rator completing the tale as it is written in the
A Brahman woman who heard the story re-
marked: *'It is a good tale and well told. The
Hindu religion is ours and so we pray to our
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
own gods, but your religion is better, for, see,
will a Hindu father forgive a son that has dis-
honored him? No! When anybody is in trouble,
do our people give him help? No, indeed! They
speak fair words from the shastras and tell him
to go. Those who have much keep it all to them-
selves like a lamp hid in an earthen pot, but the
Christians put their light on high places and it
shines on everybody with love and kindness and
Every one of my readers has at some time,
I suppose, laughed over English as spoken by
the East Indian.
These are letters that have come to us from
To THE Doctor Mem Sahib,
My Dear Respected Madam,
I most humbly and respectfully beg to state a month
past that I received a letter from my relation containing
with following subject — that your husband has a pimple
in his chest and he is dangerously ill, come as soon as you
can possible. So at once I started from Medak to City
without your embracings and kind permission. Please
excuse me, I will come again near you, after the opera-
tion of my husband's pimple, because I had got the most
satisfaction that your good remedy about the pain of my
liver. You must send the reply to the following address :
Your most humbly and faithfully,
(Signed) O. K. —
Great and Respected Queen,
My dear Sir :
Send advise written plain and quick by my chaprassi.
I sliow my not having much sense one day because as I
was going to see Tanks through the jungle, I felt very
sick and tight. My servant said to me. Sir, lie down and
I will give you berries from a tree, then all tightness will
go. My respected Doctor Lady, my servant's words came
true. I did eat and my whole Enatomy had never tight-
ened since. Send your valuable drugs to make me tight
again. I am lying down with no more strong on one
side than the other side. Feet and legs to will not obey
too quickly. No much life in my body.
Yours most humble and faithfully,
A healthy looking, young Mahomedan called
at the dispensary one day and made the follow-
ing startling statement in English: "Doctor
Madam, you will please make me careful ex-
amination. I am suffering a fatal attack of am-
Sometimes our hospital pictures are all sun-
light and laughter.
Poshamma, the hospital cook, came one day
and, gravely, but with a peculiar twinkle in
her eye, asked me to come and see "a new
There on the cook-house steps close by the
dispensary door sat an enormous gray monkey
with black face and tail-tip, eating leisurely and
HOSPITAL LIGHTS AND SHADES
with evident enjoyment some bread which kind-
hearted Poshamma had given him, his self-satis-
fied expression showing plainly that he realized
his descent from the intrepid builders of Rama's
ALMOST as interesting to me as the hos-
pital were the schools for boys and
girls. When I came to Medak, I could
scarcely credit the information that the filthy,
ignorant coolie men and women of the com-
pound were the parents of the neat, intelligent
lads and lassies in the schools. These coolies,
as might be expected from a race subject for
centuries, and with a religion having no con-
nection with morality, are born liars and thieves,
and, worse, unashamed of their shortcomings.
Knowing this fact, I was surprised one day to
hear the schoolgirl daughter of a coolie say, with
a proud toss of her head and a flash of her eyes :
"Do you think I would lie? No, indeed! A lie
is not only wicked but is silly and cowardly!"
Possibly the little miss may not be able to live
up to her ideals at all times — thus differing in
no wise from the rest of us mortals — but I loved
her for the pride of her tone and for the hope
The poorest of our Western school children
would feel a deep pity for these little folk whose
life is a study in simplicity, their bed, a blanket
on a wooden floor ; their chair and table, another
wooden floor; their dress, two thin garments;
and their food, rice and chilis. The pity of the
Western children would be wasted, however, for
frequently what we Westerners consider the
necessaries of life are regarded as oppressive
burdens by these people.
Our little folk find much to make them happy.
They are happier still when a wedding is in
progress, and happiest of all when the wedding
is a double wedding, such as took place during
my first year at Medak. The brides, garlanded
with flowers, and with faces modestly drooping,
were charming in white saris and yellow and
green satin jackets and skirts, while the bride-
grooms, in white muslin with gay, colored scarfs
draped over the left shoulder, and also wearing
garlands of flowers, presented a dignified, manly
appearance. After the service, powdered spices
were thrown by the jovially disposed guests into
the eyes of the brides and grooms, and they were
showered with rice as they climbed into the bul-
lock tonga, which was conducted with great re-
joicing all about the compound, the shouts and
laughter every now and then giving place to the
loud and ringing wedding song, Tsahla Santo-
shamoo! (Great Joy.)
Durganna, formerly a Dacoitie boy, is one of
our big band of schoolboys. The Dacoities are
born to the occupation of robbery and murder,
but they have a social standing and are as proud
of their work as any Brahman. When one re-
alizes that they are trained to all the steps of
deceit and crime as soon as their baby brains
will grasp connected thoughts, one feels only pity
for the victims of this evil system. After all,
the Dacoities are not entirely different from the
rest of the mild-mannered, affectionate Indian
A tall, pleasant-faced lad used to lie at my feet
in the evening and, by the light of my punkah-
lamp, slowly trace with his fingers the Telugu
characters in his reading-book. Every little
while he would look up and ask me some ques-
tion about what he was reading. This was Dur-
ganna. From his birth he had been trained in
all the wicked arts of the Dacoities, but when he
was yet a child his father was convicted of a
crime and imprisoned. This was during the ter-
rible famine of '96 and '97, and Durganna and
his mother, in despair, sought work at the
Christian "Famine Camp." Durganna became
an errand boy and slowly but surely the evil of
Boys' playground, Medak
Girls' playground, Medak
his education was supplanted by good and he
became a Christian, ambitious to be an evan-
gelist. Long and hard he worked at his first
reading-book, and then at all the books that fol-
lowed, until his triumph came when he brilliantly
passed his entrance examinations for the theo-
logical training school.
Dina was a mite of a girl who was worse than
motherless. For a few rupees which had been
offered her by a Mahomedan zenana, the mother
consented to sell Dina as a slave if she could but
steal her from the school. This we intended to
prevent, if possible, for, when our Mission took
Dina, her mother signed papers forfeiting all her
rights in the child.
One day Dina seemed very much frightened
and for several days thereafter kept close to Miss
Richardson, her school-superintendent, of whom
she was very fond. At last she confided the
cause of her terror.
"My mother came again in the night," she
whispered in awed tones. "Always Ijefore, she
has offered me sweetmeats if I would run away
with her, but I told her I loved you too well to
leave you. This time she was very cross with
me, and when she went away she said she would
come again some night and choke me to death
unless I would go with her, but I didn't go !"
However, we watched Dina very carefully,
and after several months her mother gave up her
fruitless attempts to steal her.
Our Jesumani (Jewel of Jesus), a young Bible
woman and the bride of one of our leading evan-
gelists, was but three years of age when she
was dedicated by her parents, in return for a val-
uable piece of land and a yearly offering of rice,
to the life of a devil priestess, a life almost too
revolting for description. She was ten years
old when the Mission found her. Her long, un-
combed, unwashed hair and the bits of leather
tied about her neck told of the life of shame be-
fore her, and, according to custom, her parents
were making ready to offer her as a sacrifice to
her profession. This meant that, during a
drunken revelry of the villagers, the child would
herself be made drunk and given over to the
sensual brutality of the devil priest. After that
she would become the common property of all
unscrupulous men. However, obtaining support
for the child and for her family, also, as she was
their mainstay, and overcoming all the stubborn
opposition that bigotry and hatred of foreign in-
trusion could present, the Mission set her free.
To-day, looking at Jesumani's happy face, it
would be hard to realize that she confronted but
a few years ago the most horrible fate that could
befall a woman.
Nerickshanna, another of our schoolgirls, was
always a brave Christian soldier. A schoolmate
starting home for vacation placed on her fore-
head — thoughtless vanity her probable motive —
a dot of vermilion, which is a sign of Hinduism.
Nerickshanna spied the mark and rubbed it off
with no gentle hand.
"How dare you," she exclaimed indignantly,
"adorn yourself with the sign of the heathen
gods and thus disgrace our Lord Jesus!"
Nerickshanna had an excellent memory, and
often attempted to sing English songs she had
heard (the child did not understand one word
of English). Her favorite was "Little Alabama
Coon," and she got the melody perfectly, singing
lustily and with confidence :
Go to seep, my lily pipanimbo,
Unnerneaf ee siller, suller moon.
She was in hospital with malaria when a baby
born to one of the patients died before it had
ever breathed. In her prayer that evening
Nerickshanna pleaded with tears in her eyes:
"O God, the baby that died to-day was never
baptized, so I suppose it is in hell ; but wherever
it is, dear God, please bless and take care of the
sweet little baby!"
A seven-year-old schoolboy fell from a high
swing and broke his arm. An honest fraud was
this same schoolboy. I allowed him to come into
my room one day to play with the chessmen.
When he went away I examined his arm to see
if it were improving, and out from the sling
dropped two of the knights.
"Oh, my dear," I exclaimed, ''how could you
steal from me ? Have I not always been good to
His large eyes grew larger with injured in-
"I stole them not," he protested, "they accrued
to me from that game I was playing!"
Then and there I took the boy's morals in
hand and talked to him for five minutes for his
soul's good. I had expected, at the end of my
eloquent harangue, tears and repentance, but he
gravely inquired: "If I had asked you for the
little figures, would you have given them to
"No," I replied. "They are part of an ex-
"Then," he concluded, clinching his argument,
"if I had not taken them without permission,
how else could I have obtained them?"
PENETRATING THE WILDS
ANOTHER tour, "penetrating the wilds !"
It was late afternoon when we started
out into unknown regions, unknown to
our tonga driver as well as to ourselves, and
more especially unknown to our ''guide." In
spite of our slight anxiety at the thought of a
moonless, starless, dinnerless, blanketless night
in the jungle, and of the fact that jolting over
the rough roads had made us all ''sorry in the
stomach," as little Eva Adkin used to express it,
we could not suppress our amusement at the
guide's directions, our driver in bewilderment
turning this way and that, retracing the path
over and over, until we hysterically told him to
ignore the statements of that will o' the wisp
guide and to go straight ahead.
At last, late at night, far away on a hill top, a
light gleamed, and in glad relief we felt that
people must be there who could give us an idea
of our whereabouts. On reaching the light,
what was our surprise and joy to find it our own
lantern shining from the tent which had gone on
ahead with the servants! A deHcious chicken
curry and a steaming cup of tea soon compen-
sated us for all our troubles.
In the morning we were awakened by a
woman's loud wailing near the tent, and we
learned that a fourteen-year-old wife had been
severely beaten by her husband and was lying
prostrate on the ground just outside. While we
soothed her with words and medicine, we could
but compare this with an incident of the day
before — the beginning of a Lombardy honey-
moon ! On rounding a turn, we had seen a white
bullock decked out, Lombardy fashion, with
shreds of cloth of various gaudy colors and with
bits of shell and looking-glass dangling over his
forehead, surrounding his horns, and fluttering
in the breeze. Just behind came a handsome,
stalwart Lombardy holding close, in a vain en-
deavor to comfort her, his young bride who was
wailing bitterly as, in her new rainbow suit, with
her thick blanket hiding her face, she left the
shelter of her parents' home for that of her hus-
band. Far off on the road above her, the family
group waved their good-bye, the mother wailing
as the daughter wailed, the more philosophic old
grandmother bending over the mother as if
speaking words of wisdom and comfort. As we
Medak doctor on tour
Medak nurse visiting the sick in a palanquin
PENETRATING THE WILDS
passed, the bride's curiosity got the better of her
grief and she took her blanket from her face
and stopped crying to have a good look at us.
On our march to the second village, the rough-
est of roads compelled us to walk miles in the
noonday sun, and we all came off with sore feet
and sun headaches. The baggage cart twice over-
turned, breaking our tapestrung bed and injur-
ing the driver. However, we managed to get at
least a thin layer of straw on which to sleep for
the next few nights, and the driver's wounds soon
It was on this trip that we saw three large
mango trees just beside the road, swarming with
thousands of flying foxes. We were indeed glad
to exchange the deafening noise — rustling,
squeaking, squealing — and the suffocating ver-
min-odor for the breezes sweeping across the
rippling blue of the great lake by which we
camped. It was a wild jungle spot, and the in-
habitants of the neighboring village were terri-
fied by the bold visits of tigers or leopards which
struck down sheep and goats by the score. The
savage creatures had left the remains of a few
of their victims close by our camp, and it took
some time to remove them. During that first
afternoon, while the servants were cleaning the
ground for the tent, they killed three venomous
''Abo!" exclaimed our evangelist. ''That is a
very bad sign; if patients see, they would not
Distemper, too, had wrought havoc among
the cows and goats, so, according to custom, a
small boy led a sheep up and down before it
should be sacrificed to Siva in an appeal for
Certainly this little village seemed in sad dis-
favor of its gods. At night so fierce a storm
broke over us, that with all our strength we could
scarcely hold up the tent poles, firmly fixed in
the ground as they were; and it was early morn-
ing before the strength of the gale subsided
and we could lie down to sleep. Even then we
were disturbed by the coolies loudly shouting and
waving lights to scare away the leopards.
On the first day at this village the patel lent
us his gracious countenance for nine consecutive
hours. As he watched the patients crowd for-
ward with their various ailments he noted care-
fully each new disease, and as we gave the medi-
cine for it he would gravely tell us that some one
of his household had this same disease and he
would like medicine to cure it, until he had a
PENETRATING THE WILDS
sample — a very small one, you may be sure — of
nearly everything in stock.
As we returned to the tent, after an evening
stroll, the servants told us that a cobra which
had been killed in a village house had been
brought for us to see. To catch the reptile a
man had baited a strong hook with a toad, and
when the snake, from its underground fastnesses,
seized the bait, the man quickly jerked it forth
to its death with the hook through its jaw. I
gave the man a present and kept the snake for
its skin. After holding an interesting autopsy
over the creature, which measured six feet in
length and five inches in circumference, we de-
livered the skin to our *'boy" for preservation.
A weird scene that night was the worship
about an anthill. Once some god or other had
been buried in an anthill, so now, in memoriam,
on a certain day of the year, crowds of men bury
a bit of molded clay in an anthill to represent
the dead god and then march round and round
the anthill carrying lighted torches and wailing
loudly for the dead.
About dawn next morning, we heard a rustle
of the straw under our cots. Thinking that a
pariah dog had found its way into the tent, we
called the butler to come and drive it forth, when
what was our surprise to see a tall, haggard man
slowly emerge from beneath the cot. Gazing
wildly at us for a moment, he gave a piercing
shriek and darted from the tent. Later we
learned his story.
He was a rich, high caste Hindu merchant
whom domestic unhappiness had driven mad.
There is no confinement in India of "the dead
who walk," as they call the insane, and this un-
fortunate lunatic roamed about at will. Our
people gave him food and otherwise treated him
kindly ; so, throughout our stay at his village, he
remained close by the tents, watching our every
movement. We took care, however, that he did
not again sleep beneath our bed.
When we drove on to Dhoomkonda, the mad
merchant ran and leaped and danced beside us
all the way. Now and then, with a shrill
scream, he would dash past the tonga at full
speed, holding his head in his hands; then he
would pause and quietly smoke as he walked be-
side us, depositing matches or rice or flowers at
our feet. It was all very pathetic!
Dhoomkonda is ruled by a rajah and is very
strong in its caste prejudices. There is not a
single Christian in all that large town. How-
ever, the people crowded upon us thickly, as
usual. Five hundred and forty-six patients re-
ceived treatment the first day. Our poor chch
PENETRATING THE WILDS
prassi, in his attempt to hold back the throng,
was seized roughly by a big Mahomedan who
tore to shreds the chaprassi's pink turban, his
pride and joy. This insult was too much, and, in
spite of belonging to a Christian camp, the cha-
prassi engaged in a free fight then and there,
which required much effort on our part to stay.
In one of the villages we visited the people
had never before seen a white face, and when we
started out for a stroll they followed us respect-
fully but with unveiled curiosity. We at last sat
down beneath a tree and called the people to
come and talk to us. As they timidly drew near
one of the men, looking at our shoes, exclaimed:
"How strange you people are ! You have white
faces and black feet with no toes, and we know
not whether you be men or women. Your fea-
tures are like a woman's, but you hold your heads
up and walk quickly and proudly as no woman
We were delighted to find here and there in
our travels patients who had been treated by us
before and who were loud in their gratitude.
One, a Brahman girl who had been cured in our
hospital, proudly showed us her garden.
"See," she said, as she pointed to a tree or a
flower, "I saw them in the garden at your hos-
pital; when I came home I straightway planted
the same kind in my own garden."
While in hospital, this young Brahman girl,
Parvatiamma, had won our hearts by her sweet
disposition and patience under suffering. For
years she had borne this pain which was destroy-
ing all her joy in life. After coming to us, a very
simple treatment had restored her health, but
she could scarcely realize that she was cured.
Her mother, an old Brahman widow with a keen
sense of humor, said one day: "See my daugh-
ter's face, see it! She is waiting for the pain
and it will not come." Then she laughed joy-
ously and the daughter laughed with her.
At the same time that the Brahman girl, Par-
vatiamma, w^as in the hospital, Sangamma, a
Hindu low caste girl, v/as there also. Sangamma
was a child-woman of sixteen, so thin and frail
that our hearts ached for her. Her husband
had deserted her for a stronger wife; her mother
was dead; but the fond old father regularly
brought her food and begged us to care for her
and to make her well.
"When she is well I will give you a rupee!"
he said grandly, and his chest swelled with pride
at the munificence of his promise.
Sangamma got into trouble one day by unwit-
tingly touching Parvatiamma's dress. The wrath
PENETRATING THE WILDS
of the Brahman was heavy on the head of the
low caste girl, and there was much bathing and
purifying in the wards. Sangamma, trembling
with fear, promised to be careful in future, but
her apologies seemed not to soften the wrath
of the defiled Brahman. A few days later, as I
sat by Parvatiamma's bed talking to her, she
drew my head down to hers and whispered: "I
shall aways be a Brahman, but I should like to
be an unselfish Brahman, as you white people are
When I made my rounds that evening, I heard
little Sangamma crying weakly in her corner,
for the day had been more trying than usual for
her. As I started toward her to comfort her, I
stopped amazed. Not seeing me behind her, Par-
vatiamma who, less than a week before, had
cursed Sangamma because their garments had
accidentally come into contact, bent over the
weeping child and, stroking her cheek, said
gently: "Cry not, little one! Courage, dear!
The pain will soon go and you will again be
To those who know not India, this physical
touching by a Brahman of one lower in caste
may seem a slight thing, but I, understanding
what it meant in loving self-sacrifice, felt too
deeply touched for words and stole silently out
of the ward.
And now Parvatiamma showed us her pretty
garden. She declared she was "as happy as a
bulbul," and when we said good-bye to her she
showered us with blessings and loaded us with
gifts. In gay procession, we passed through
the streets of the quaint old town with its crum-
bling wall, our people following close after us,
the "boy" in advance of the rest and bearing on
his head an enormous plate of sugar, cocoanuts
and oranges ; then the two nurses in costumes of
crimson and orange and rose pink, and the vast
majority of the villagers bringing up the rear.
As we turned our faces toward Medak, we
stopped at a village where we had toured three
years before. At that time we were asked to
visit a woman "with a marble in her breast."
She was a Brahman, so she did not invite us to
enter her house, but came to us on the outer
veranda. I found upon examination that the
"marble" was a cancer, and I explained fully the
danger and the necessity for immediate opera-
tion. Months passed, and then came Brahman
Lakshmamma to our hospital. The "marble" had
grown to a hideous sore, and she had at last
decided to submit herself to our hands.
"We have tried every other doctor and every
PENETRATING THE WILDS
remedy known to us," said her three grown sons,
prostrating themselves at my feet, "but all have
failed; now in perfect faith we come to you!"
I performed the operation and Lakshmamma
made a good recovery and went home. This
time, when we came to her village, Lakshmamma
herself met us far down the street and drew us
into her house and into the courtyard close to
her sacred Tulsi plant and to the shrine of her
household god. Smilingly she beckoned to our
nurses and assistants to follow, and then whis-
pered something to her eldest son. He hastily
left us and in a few minutes returned with all
the Brahmans in the village at his heels.
**I have invited them," said Lakshmamma,
"to hear the sweet music of your Telugu Christ-
ian hymns which I heard with such delight
while in your hospital."
Several hymns were sung, the people listen-
ing in silent pleasure. Then Lakshmamma
turned to Abbishakamma :
"Now will you tell us the story of Elizabeth?"
she requested. "It is good for these young
women to hear."
The dusk had settled over the landscape before
we finally departed for our long trip home, with
garlands about our necks and Lakshmamma's
blessing in our ears.
As next morning we drove through a thick
woodland, we saw, strutting in the underbrush,
a peacock, his beautiful feathers gleaming in the
sunshine, and by his side his meek little hen and
five baby chicks.
FANTASTIC SUMMER'S HEAT
WHEN, during my last year at Medak,
the hot April sun made us all long for
"the Hills," I decided to resist the
temptation to go, keeping my money for an ex-
tensive sightseeing trip on my way home to
America. Hotter and hotter blazed the sun as
the days dragged by, and the fitful breezes might
have been from the depths of a furnace fire. All
nature looked like a man burning v^ith high fever.
The maidan was dried to a yellow-brown shade;
the pipal trees held up to the sun rigid skeleton
arms pleading for mercy ; the air shimmered with
the intensity of the heat; the birds sat with
wings outstretched and with beaks open, gasp-
ing for air ; while not a sound broke the stillness
except the lazy drone of the bees. On the damp
floor of the bathroom our pet terriers found
their only approach to comfort, hugging close
the water pots and panting breathlessly. For
myself, I tried to keep cool by thinking of May
in the home country, its spring green of new
grass, the violets and anemones scattering their
beauty through the woods, and the apple blos-
soms crowning the orchards with purity and
sweetness. I tried to imagine the exhilarating
air and the song of the nesting birds. Often it
was too hot even for this, and my bursting head
held only a dull longing that the day would end.
Fortunately, people were too hot to realize
they were sick, or else too hot to come for medi-
cine when they were sick, so I had leisure to sit
beneath the waving punkah and feel the pleasant
stirring of the hot air.
Then came Miss Hare, a Secunderabad mis-
sionary, with some of her school children; Mr.
Johnson and Mr. Adkin, two of our Medak mis-
sionaries, returned from a tour in the outer dis-
trict, and, all working together to help the little
folks enjoy their vacation, we managed to have
a very pleasant summer.
Every nurse and servant tried to outdo every
other in loving service to us, and through all
the weary summer weeks their zeal and loyalty
The gramophone, mango feasts, especially
elaborate dinners on the flat roof of the hospital,
magic lantern stories, picnics at the old hill- fort
and on the beautiful Huldi River, and various
other festivities, kept us all busy in preparation
FANTASTIC SUMMER'S HEAT
To add to the pleasure and excitement, the
Yellaka people came one evening to visit us. The
Yellakk people are a nomadic tribe of gypsy for-
tune tellers, black-skinned, keen-witted, cheerful
hearted, and clothed in uniform of Kipling's
Giinga Din, who drive from village to village cat-
tle and donkeys which, with baskets they have
woven, and with other merchandise, they sell
and thus earn a livelihood. The Telugu peasants
generally have harsh, unmodulated voices, but I
have rarely heard voices softer or more musical
than the Yellakas'. One bright-eyed young
woman begged me to have my fortune told, so I
obediently seated myself on the grass and
listened, more to the sweetness of the voice that
spoke than to the matter spoken. Weaving her
body to and fro, she placed my hand which she
held on her forehead, then on my own forehead,
and murmured on and on for several minutes,
until she had convinced me that at least she had
a clear brain and a remarkable power of deduc-
tion. Then, at our request, the whole band of
gypsies gave us an exhibition of their extraor-
dinary powers of mimicry. Their jackal howl
set the dogs barking furiously and darting again
and again into the shadows to find the noisy dis-
turbers of the night's peace.
When the Yellakas had finished their perform-
ance and had tied in their turbans the coins we
gave them, they begged to hear the "man ma-
chine" (gramophone) of which they had heard.
We turned on a Tekigu song or two which they
greatly enjoyed. Then we gave them the
"Laughing Song," and the peals of laughter
from the gramophone set the queer black folk
rolling on the ground in uncontrolled mirth.
So one hot day quickly succeeded another, and
the cool winds of June were blowing up from
Ceylon, telling that the monsoon had broken, be-
fore we realized that vacation was ended and life
was about to resume its ordinary routine.
ONE afternoon messengers came to us in
deep distress, begging us to go with
them and give treatment to a "sick
child" at a village ''only eight miles distant, over
good roads." I was very busy at the hospital
and feared to leave some of the patients, but the
messengers said that the parents of the child
were especially orthodox Hindus, who would not
bring him to a Christian hospital ; that the child
had been sick but a few days and had had no
other treatment ; and that now surely when they
had become anxious about him, we would respect
their faith in us shown by not calling in hakims,
and would come at once. At last their piteous
appeals won me and I started forth in the tonga
with one of the English ladies who insisted on
accompanying me, and with our chaprassi, fully
Of all rough rides I have taken in rough-
roaded India that ride was the roughest. Often
the tonga dropped straight down two feet into a
gutter; often to help the bullocks in their impos-
sible task we dismounted and pushed the tonga;
often we climbed out and walked through the
ankle-deep mud of the rice fields; until, late at
night, footsore and exhausted, we arrived at our
journey's end with the knowledge that the mes-
sengers had lied to us about the distance as well
as about the condition of the roads; that instead
of eight the village was twenty miles from
Medak. The sick "child" proved to be thirty
years old, and the son of the patel. We learned
then that his people feared we would not come
should they tell us the truth, as our hospital is
known to be especially for women and children.
A hasty examination showed me that the pa-
tient had but a short time to live, and I called his
father and younger brother aside, saying: "He
is dying; I cannot help him."
Prostrating themselves at my feet, they begged
me to do "something — anything."
"If you do not give him medicine the women
will know that he is dying and will wail; then
he will know and be frightened."
"Very well," said I, "all you people of India
know what brandy is; I will give him a little
Leaning over the young man, I poured a large
spoonful of diluted brandy down his throat.
Immediately he cried out in agony: "Oh, the
burning, the burning!" and I reaHzed that the
hakims had ruined the patient's stomach by their
drastic concoctions. He was dying fast now, so,
pushing my way through the crowd which had
gathered, I sat down with my EngHsh friend on
a ruined stone foundation of a house, raised
above the level of the street, and there we
awaited the end as the father had begged us to
do, fearing our departure would tell the sad
truth to the patient and to his women relatives.
In about an hour the sudden, loud wail told us
the man had died, and a moment later our chap-
rassi, with ashen face and eyes starting from
their sockets, ran toward us.
"They say you have killed him," he gasped,
"and that they will kill you to avenge him ; they
are furious with the fury of a tiger; let us run!"
At his heels came the mob. As far as I could
see, men and women with angry faces and with
threatening cries and gestures rushed toward us,
their voices rising louder and louder in fierce
condemnation, till the sound was like the gather-
ing of a thunder storm.
"Run!" I echoed scornfully — I was too indig-
nant to feel afraid — "I will never run from the
cowardly dogs !" With my English friend stand-
ing at my side, and with the chaprassi — valiant
fellow! — cowering behind me, I rose to my full
height on the platform of stone, and, facing the
mob, held up my hand in a gesture demanding
Surprised into stillness by my attitude, they
Then, in my best Telugu, and marveling at
the fluency excitement had given me, I began :
"Men and women, listen to my words and tell
me are you treating me fairly?
"You lied to me when you said the patient was
a child; you lied to me when you said he had
been ill but a few days, and had taken no other
medicine but mine ; now you admit that this is
the end of weeks of illness; you admit that you
have given the medicines of every hakim that
would come. You told me your village was eight
miles distant from Medak; it is twenty, and we
traveled rough roads to reach you. When I
came I told the patient's own father and brother
that he was dying; that I could do nothing to
help him ; and only at their earnest request, and
against my own wish, did I give him medicine (I
explained to them what medicine I had given).
Now you say I murdered him. Is your accusa-
tion just? Is the man's death any benefit to me?
No. Then why should I murder him? On the
contrary, should I not have done all I could to
save his life, and thus win the friendship of your
village, which you know to be the desire of our
Mission? Stand forth!" I concluded, pointing
my finger at the father and brother of the pa-
tient, "and show yourselves to be men! Tell
these people I have spoken truly!"
I stopped and, amid the buzzing voices which
followed my protest, I heard the clear tones of
the dead man's father. "Yes, truly she has
spoken. We are in the wrong," and one by one
the people of the great crowd slunk back to their
dead, leaving us to go our way in peace.
Then, only, did I feel the nervous strain. For
a moment everything swam before me, and it
was a mighty effort that gave me strength
enough to climb into the tonga, where I sank
down almost unconscious.
Traveling on through the jungle, we stopped
toward daylight under a big tree and slept for an
hour and a half. Then we bathed our faces in
the river, had some tea and bread from the tiffin
basket, and pushed along. It was literally "push-
ing along," too, for, as we climbed the hill toward
home, our chaprassi mysteriously disappeared.
We learned afterward that he had been over-
come with cholera, but had managed to stagger
home — and we three, now without the help of the
chaprassi s strong arm, had to push the heavy
tonga up the fearful ruts and gaps in the road,
too much for the strength of the bulls alone, un-
til, with sun headaches and a pessimistic view of
life in general, we reached the compound.
The chaprassi recovered from the cholera,
which he always said was brought on by his
fright at the mob.
Other excitements were in store for us.
Even in this India of glorious nights I am
sure that night when five of us missionaries, ac-
companied by Rajah and Rani, our pet fox-ter-
riers, had set out on a tour to Ramyanpett was
the most glorious, the most weirdly enchanting.
The trees and underbrush on both sides of the
lonely jungle road glistened with myriads of fire-
flies until it was impossible to tell where those
glowing, twinkling stars of earth joined the glow-
ing, twinkling stars of heaven. In the midst
shone Venus like a radiant young moon. The
warm air was heavy with the scent of lemon- and
spice-grasses; the jackals and the giant frogs
held high carnival; and, through the shrill howls
and hoarse croaks, came startling at intervals the
mournful hoot of an owl.
We had tired of the tonga and had climbed
down to eat supper by the light of a lantern, on a
flat, roadside rock. As we ate and laughed and
chatted, we recalled that it was just about at the
spot where we were sitting that leopards had fre-
quently been seen, and that a tiger had, a few
days before, killed the horse of the Zemindar.
This did not lessen our appetites, but we spoke
again of these things as, supper finished, we
strolled along in the road following the tonga, the
terriers trotting about thirty yards behind us.
Suddenly Rani uttered a sharp cry, and we
turned quickly. There was a loud crash of
bushes as a heavy body bounded away among the
rocks, and our little dog had disappeared never
to be seen again. Though we were unarmed, we
felt no fear for ourselves. Nevertheless, we
could not help a "creepy" sensation when we
thought of how long the savage beast must have
stalked us before it dared spring so boldly on our
After Rani's death. Rajah never recovered his
good spirits. Instead of the playful, affectionate
little dog he had been, he became quiet and
morose, shrinking into corners and frequently re-
fusing his food. We thought him pining for his
playmate, but we were finally forced to the con-
clusion that his condition was more serious than
that. Miss Tombleson, returning from Ramyan-
pett, reported that Rajah, who had gone with her,
had, quite contrary to his usual conduct, sprung
suddenly on a pariah dog and bitten it savagely ;
Miss Tombleson had pulled him away, and, for
the first time in his life, he had turned on her and
bitten her hand, drawing the blood.
After they came home that night, I was alone
in my room, Rajah lying quietly at my feet, when
Jack, a fox-terrier belonging to Miss Beaulah,
one of our English ladies, came running in. Like
a flash. Rajah sprang upon him. I seized a desk
ruler lying near, and, jerking the smaller dog
from Rajah's grasp, gave Rajah a sharp blow
with the ruler. Instantly he turned, and, with a
low growl, sprang straight at my throat. As he
sprang, I dodged, and that second the truth came
to me. Rajah had gone mad. Then suddenly I
recalled the words of an animal trainer whose
performance I had seen in my childhood: ** 'It
'em in the nose w'en they gets savage! That's
w'ere you've got 'em — in the nose !"
Again and again, with bloodshot eyes, bristling
hair and foaming mouth, the dog sprang at me.
At each spring I met him with a sharp rap on the
nose, until at last he crouched low in a corner
apparently subdued. I backed from the room
and, closing the door, ran to call a servant. The
dog made no resistance as we tied a rope about
his neck and made him fast, meaning to decide
his fate by a morning consultation.
Long after midnight, our Miss Beaulah was
awakened by the sound of some animal leaping
over the lower half of her door, and she jumped
out of bed just in time to see Rajah viciously
assail little Jack, the terrier, who was tied in a
corner. Miss Beaulah had been half ill for sev-
eral days, and to beat Rajah off her pet with a
chair and finally from the room was a task almost
beyond her strength, and left her prostrated with
fright and exhaustion. When daylight came,
Rajah was discovered cowering in a corner of
our veranda, wild-eyed, covered with blood, and
every few minutes giving the single, sharp bark,
shrill and pitiful, of rabies. The rope with which
we had tied him w^as gnawed in two and a dead
pariah dog, terribly mangled, found in the gar-
den, explained Rajah's bloody coat. There could
be no more delay. Miss Tombleson consented to
have her pet shot, and, sad at heart, we w^alked
out over the maidan to be away from the tragedy.
We had walked scarcely two miles when a rifle
shot rang out, and we knew our little Rajah had
joined his playmate Rani.
The conviction that Rajah's illness was rabies
brought the knowledge that Miss Tombleson ran
the risk of contracting the disease from the
wound he had given her, so I sent her at once to
Coonoor, where was the nearest Pasteur Insti-
tute, and she has suffered no ill effects from
A few weeks later came the rainy season.
Heavily, steadily for days the rain poured
down, swelling the brooks to rivers and the rivers
The rainy season in India is called — very ap-
propriately that last year — the "sick season."
Our hospital was crowded to the doors, and many
of our patients were in rough temporary shelters
of straw. The number treated at the dispensary
was enormous; and almost everybody that was
not actually sick felt damp and miserable.
It was during this time that Miss Tombleson
and I went to Ramyanpett to give out some neces-
sary medicines. We forded with difficulty the
two streams that brawled across the road and
next day, when we wished to return to Medak,
the bandy driver told us the streams had swollen
so greatly during the night that we should prob-
ably not be able to cross. However, we felt that
we must, if possible, get back to the hospital, and
we boldly set forth, while the rain rained on, the
wettest, wettest rain!
Arriving at the first stream, we saw that ford-
ing it would be dangerous for the bullocks, so we
told Latchman to put them up in the rest house,
and we would try to walk home by ourselves.
Along the bank in the tall, wet grass we stumbled,
trying to find some crossing point and at last,
telling ]\Iiss Tombleson to wait on the bank, I
plunged in. Though the water was but waist
deep, I could scarcely stand against the rushing
flood. Suddenly I sank to my neck, and in an
instant was being whirled down stream powerless
to resist. Fortunately a branch of a tree pro-
jected over the water. This I seized and, holding
it with all my might, for I knew it meant life
itself, I managed to drag myself to the bank.
The noise of the wind and the waters drowned
I^Iiss Tombleson's voice, but I could see her face
blanched with terror, and the look of relief when,
somewhat bruised and scratched, I climbed up
and rejoined her.
With a little more caution, we tried to cross the
stream at several other points, but failed. At
last, to our joy, we found a wide, shallow place
where the water was comparatively quiet, and
succeeded in crossing over.
What was our surprise to find that Latchman
had also crossed with the bullocks swimming, and
was waiting for us.
All tliis had taken time, and when we came to
the bank of the second stream, w-hich was swirl-
ing as viciously as the first, we realized that it
would be madness to attempt to cross it in the
pitchy darkness of the night. There was nothing
to do but to resign ourselves to the inevitable.
Soaked to the skin, we wrapped our dripping rugs
about us and, climbing into the bandy, sat all
night on the wet cushions, now waking to the
sound of the wild wind and rain and of the croak-
ing frogs; and again, in spite of the discomfort,
sleeping from pure weariness.
In the morning we perched ourselves on the
back of the bandy seat, and, with the help of the
ropes in the hands of hired coolies, were pulled
across. An hour later we were at home and
thankful for the cup of hot tea which the solici-
tous butler placed before us.
Then came the Hyderabad floods, one of the
great disasters of the world, which will be long
remembered by us who were eye-witnesses of the
Half the entire rainfall of the year fell within
less than two days. During those few short
hours the Musah River, flowing through the very
center of Hyderabad City, rose sixty feet, wreak-
ing havoc indescribable. In the heart of the great
city of four hundred and fifty thousand inhabi-
tants a district one mile long and half a mile
wide, containing thirty thousand residences and
other buildings, was utterly destroyed. In the
country beyond, whole villages were swept away,
thousands of lives were lost, and millions of
rupees' worth of property.
It was reported that the Nizam, on learning of
the terrible loss of life, wept like a child.
Of course, such a sudden and awful calamity
brought everywhere to light heroes of the bravest,
many of whom must forever be unknown and
unnamed. The Afzul Ganj Hospital, the public
zenana hospital of Hyderabad City, was in the
center of the ruined area. As the river over-
flowed its banks and climbed higher and higher,
the lady nurses, two of whom were Rohillas and
one a Sikh, realized the danger and, with the
help of coolies, managed to convey all of their
patients, except one who was dying, to safety on
the roof of the Char Minar.
The Char Minar is a huge mosque with four
minarets and four arches, which, before the flood,
was at the center of the business district of
Hvderabad, and under whose arches ran four of
the largest streets of the city. On its high flat
roof the Afzul Ganj nurses and their charges
found refuge and there, all that cold night, they
sat, clad in night dresses or dressing gowns, try-
ing to protect their patients from the pouring
rain. In the morning they were found by the
lady doctors of the hospital, who lived in the out-
skirts of the city, and who had many times risked
their lives on reeling, falling bridges before they
finally reached the Char Minar, and had their
nurses and patients taken in boats to a more com-
Miss Tombleson and I, in a visit to Hyderabad
three weeks later to see the ruins, found the
whole country still a vast lake. The ruins them-
selves, miles of wrecked buildings, spoke of hor-
rible things in a language plainer than words.
THE CHOLERA TERROR
WHILE these sorrows and anxieties were
filling our hearts, the cholera terror
crept insidiously into the Medak Dis-
trict, and swift and terrible was the slaughter of
its victims. Families, streets, villages of people
were wiped out of existence. Along every high-
way, at frequent intervals, was stretched across
the road from tree to tree the rope of mango
leaves which implores Misamma, the devil god-
dess of cholera, not to go farther. Little mud
temples painted with the sacred red and yellow
stripes, and heaped with offerings of wild flowers
and rice and milk, were erected here and there
by the wayside, and prayers by the thousands
were made to the goddess of cholera, begging
mercy. Life was one long nightmare. Contin-
ually, day and night, we could hear the loud wail-
ing of mourners for their dead ; and, one follow-
ing close on the heels of the other, went the sad
processions, wending their way to funeral pyre
or burial ground.
One of these processions appeared so extraor-
dinary that I could hardly believe the man they
mourned was dead. Wrapped in an orange col-
ored cloth and supported by two other men, the
dead man sat upright in a country cart, which
was followed by a long stream of people chanting
mournfully. It was a Lingyat funeral. The
corpse is buried in this sitting posture in a niche
built in one side of a large grave.
By stationing guards at every gate, and by
rigid rules concerning those coming and going,
we kept the cholera from the people of our com-
pound, although outside cases were received
through the hospital entrance and placed in tem-
porary, isolated shacks under the charge and
treatment of our hospital. Frequently a hundred
and fifty cases at once were under our care, and
our regular nurses and as many other people as
we could press into the service were nearly ex-
hausted with work and worry.
One case only broke out among the Christians.
Our dear Monikyam was just sixteen, and on the
eve of her marriage, when the cholera poison en-
tered her fragile body, which had never recov-
ered from the privations she had suffered during
the famine of '99. I was roused one night by the
cry: "Monikyam is very ill!" Always prepared
during those weeks for instant response to the
THE CHOLERA TERROR
frequent night calls, I was almost immediately at
the girl's bedside. Even then she was beyond all
earthly help, but to the last she was, as she had
always been, wholly unselfish. I had been work-
ing for a few minutes over her almost uncon-
scious form when she whispered weakly: "Do
lie down. Doctor, dear; you will be so tired; I
am not very sick; I shall be quite well in the
The little hand, wrinkled like an old woman's
from the wasting disease, weakly stroked my
face as the eyelids closed over the eyes sunk deep
in the hollowed cheeks. We had already sent for
her family, and by the utmost effort I managed
to keep her with us until her people reached her
side and received a last smiling gleam of recog-
nition before she passed "beyond the Gates."
I would that some of those who scoff at "first
generation Christians" could see the white pages
of Monikyam's life since, as a little child, she,
with ail her family, accepted Christ.
As the cholera epidemic began slowly to lessen,
the cunning priests, according to their wont,
added more silver to their ill-gotten gains through
the great "Sacrifice of Gaoo," by which they pre-
tend to win mercy from the cholera goddess.
Under ordinary circumstances Christians
would be excluded from witnessing the Gaoo sac-
rifice, but our superintendent had been kind to the
devil priests in many ways, so we were allowed
to be present and to take photographs.
The first day was devoted to preliminary rites :
A great, rainbow-colored rabble of men, women
and children, such as can be seen only in the
East, filthy and scant of clothing, filthy and by
no means scant of speech, crowd close to the nar-
row, cleared space where the poojaJi is to be held.
A sheep is slaughtered and a devil priestess, her
long, tangled hair floating over her shoulders,
smears herself with the blood and dips her gar-
ment in the red flow from the throat. Then,
winding the animal's intestines around her neck
and holding the dripping heart in her mouth, she
proceeds to go into various semblances of the
"prophet's trance," trembling, fainting, staring.
Meanwhile her assistants beat loudly on drums
and scatter leaves upon her until, waving a rice
basket over her head, she breaks forth in a wail-
"The Devil requires many human lives to-
morrow, as many as there are grains of rice in
this basket !"
In a frenzy of desperation the people rush
toward the loathsome creature and, laying at her
feet rupees, sheep, goats, fowls, rice, beg for her
intercession with the cruel cholera devil.
THE CHOLERA TERROR
On the second day the sacrifice reaches the
height — or the depths — of degradation.
All the ground has been carefully swept and
decorated with various geometrical patterns in
colored chalk. Just in front of the little temple
at one end is a row of sheeps' heads, and in front
of these again a great heap of sheeps' meat and
bones. Near this, and almost too small for ob-
servation, stand a spinning wheel and other
household utensils, toilet articles, toy servants, a
palanquin, a wooden elephant, and several tiny
wooden horses harnessed to a Juggernaut car,
covered by a red silk canopy; all for the use of
^lisamma, the cholera goddess.
Beyond a large, bare space for the pouring of
libations lies a row of buffaloes' heads, each with
a piece of skin removed from brow to nose, with
one of its own severed legs in its mouth, and on
its forehead a small, earthen lamp alight. Still
beyond, under a shelter of sacred leaves, is a
heap of cooked meat and rice, beside which rest
two earthen vessels filled with toddy, sacred
leaves twined about the neck of each vessel. Lit-
tle native lamps burn here and there with a vile
smell of cheap oil and smoke; while at the end
of the space opposite the temple stands the prin-
cipal figure, the devil priestess, her hair flowing
down her back and an abstracted look in her eyes,
playing on a stringed instrument and accompany-
ing herself in a low, monotonous chant as she
''communes with the cholera devil."
Seventy gallons of toddy have been poured
upon the ground before us, and with this and
with the sacrificed animals the priestess begs the
devil to be satisfied and to go away, as the people
have given all they can. The devil, however,
proves obdurate, and with a cry, "She is not yet
satisfied!" the priestess pretends to die.
At this the people are greatly excited, and
there ensues a perfect pandemonium of shouting,
beating of drums, and clashing of cymbals, while
sacred leaves and dust are showered about and
two fowls are killed and thrown into the air.
Nevertheless, not until the sacrifice amounts to
fifty black-horned bufifaloes, two hundred sheep,
three hundred chickens, one hundred and twenty-
five gallons of toddy, and many bushel basketfuls
of cooked food of all sorts does the priestess re-
turn to life telling the people that at last all is
well, and the devil has mounted the little Jugger-
naut car drawn by the wooden horses and has
driven off. The fact that the car and horses re-
main quite stationary in the place where they
have stood all day makes no impression whatever
on these credulous folk.
Now, at last, comes the great event of the day.
THE CHOLERA TERROR
A wild-looking old man, clad only in a loin
cloth, runs up and down in the space before us, a
huge whip hanging over his shoulder, till two or
three men catch him and smear him thoroughly
with red and yellow paste and powder making
him indeed a hideous sight; then smoking in-
cense is passed under his nose and, his toilet com-
pleted, he dashes back into view. A young man
bearing a live sheep springs out of his way and
a race ensues round and round the little space
till at last the sheep is captured and the inhuman
butchery begins. Setting his gleaming white
teeth into the poor beast's lower lip, the old priest
tears savagely at the quivering flesh till he
reaches the jugular vein ; then a fierce bite sends
a warm, red stream of blood spouting into the
air and ends the piteous struggles of the sheep.
The priest raises his face; his features are al-
most blotted out with the fast clotting blood ; his
nostrils dilate ; and his whole aspect is that of a
veritable demon. He smears his whip in the
blood and lashes the bystanders until they crowd
back in a panic, pushing, stumbling, shrieking.
Sick and faint, I turn away and hurry unstead-
ily from the evil-smelling place, out into the cool
air of the nearby meadows, glad indeed to realize
that I am still in our own precious world of God-
given joy and laughter and peace !
The disgfiisling Gaoo sacrifices were carried on
in several other villages of the district where I
was called to attend cholera patients ; the gutters
ran blood; and the stench of this blood and of the
hundreds of dead animals was so nauseating that
I could not pass through the streets. In order to
visit my patients I had to climb over back fences
and through pigsties.
Just such revolting work as this of the devil
priest at the sacrifice of Gaoo would have fallen
to our Jesu Rajahdass had he not been rescued
by the Mission. It was several years ago, when
Christian Jesu Rajahdass was eight-year-old
heathen Potanna and the hereditary devil priest
of Surjanna, which supports one of the richest
devil priesthoods in the district, that one day,
much to the surprise of our teacher at Surjanna,
he walked boldly into the schoolroom and said:
"I wish to attend your school. I do not wish to
become a Christian, but I would read and write."
So he came, and proved a remarkably bright
pupil, easily surpassing all the others. As this
boy, Potanna, learned of Christ, he grew to love
him, and one day he told his teacher of his long-
ing to be baptized a Christian. This, however,
would have been the financial ruin of his parents,
for he was their sole support.
THE CHOLERA TERROR
"I cannot break my mother's heart," he sobbed,
"but I will never talk with the wicked devil !"
He was twelve years old when his mother died,
the greatest obstacle thus being removed. Gen-
erous Western friends promised to support the
father, so at last the son was free. Still, Mr.
Posnett knew there would be a frightful uproar
against us in the villages, unless some step should
be taken to prevent it, so he invited forty devil
priests to a three days' feast and entertainment
and, after winning their confidence by his friend-
liness, persuaded them to give little Potanna a
peaceable release from his inheritance.
When the day of Potanna's baptism arrived,
the chapel was packed to the doors. As the
young hero stood before us making confession of
his faith, there were few dry-^^^es among us.
One of the signs of the devil priesthood is the
unkempt hair; for the hair of the devil priest is
never cut or combed or washed from birth, and
when Potanna took off his turban in the chapel,
his dirty, matted locks fell to his knees. Mr.
Posnett stood with a pair of shears in his hand
and, as he picked up a strand of the hair, he
"Are you sure you wish to part with this ? You
know it means all your worldly wealth. This act
of yours can never be undone."
But the boy cried out :
*'My hair may be Satan's, but my heart is
Christ's ! Please cut off the hair !"
He was baptized "J^^u Rajahdass" (The Slave
of King Jesus), and our brave lad has always
proved true to his name.
THE year drew to a close, and with it my
Amid tearful prayers for my well-
being from nurses and patients, I parted from my
hospital ; and on the last night a service was held
for me in the chapel, when all the people in the
compound, English and Indian, gathered together
to wish me godspeed. The beautiful gift in
which they all joined, and the words of affection
and gratitude and good will, made me almost
powerless to steady my voice as, with those hun-
dreds of gentle, loving faces before me, I rose to
Christmas Day found me traveling southward,
and a day later I was in the Tamil country — real
Hindu land — where everybody and everything
contrasted strangely with Mahommedan India —
the India that I had known best. The people
were so thin, so black, so scantily clothed, com-
pared to their Northern countrymen!
From my 'rickshaw, in Madras, I looked with
interest at the public buildings and general street
scenes of one of the biggest and most important
of Indian cities; and my homesick heart found
joy in the sight and smell and sound of the ocean
lapping the beach.
At Madura, one of the first things that at-
tracted my attention was the extreme enlarge-
ment of the women's ear-lobes. In every case,
nothing remained of the original lobe but a
thread of skin which, surrounding heavy gold
and silver jewels, hung to the shoulder. The lobe
of the ear is cut when the child is but three days
old, rolls of cotton in gradually increasing sizes
being inserted for one year; then leaden rings,
one after the other, are added, until the lobes
touch the shoulders, usually when the girl is thir-
teen years of age. The ears are then ready for
The political and religious life of the South
Country Hindu has always found its highest de-
velopment at Madura ; and I had visited the city
especially to see the Great Gopura, a typical and
magnificent specimen of Dravidian architecture.
I stopped long to view the exterior of the Go-
pura, where pyramids made up of skilfully carved
figures — gods, elephants, horses, lions, peacocks
— closely crowded and of gorgeous color, against
a background of red and gold, climb higher and
higher until lost in a general iridescence against
the blinding blue of the Indian sky.
In the Choltry or ''Hall of a Thousand Col-
umns," where once the pious Tirumal Naik re-
ceived at stated intervals the god Siva and did
homage to him, noisy merchants displayed their
wares of every description, and only with diffi-
culty did I escape their importunities and see
with any satisfaction whatever the wonderful
carving of the four rows of columns which form
However, the huge dragons and other figures
of stone were of less interest to me than the mar-
velous life by which I was surrounded.
With freshly made caste marks on face and
arms and body, solemn Hindus passed me on
their way to the quiet corners, where, in the glim-
mering half light of a smoky lamp, hideous little
idols, bedaubed with paint and hung with flower
garlands, awaited their devotees.
As I stood bewildered at the clamor of human
voices and the multiplicity of carved figures, I
heard the sound of jangling bells and glanced up
just in time to step from the path of a procession
of holy elephants, gaudily painted and capari-
soned, carrying the gold bowls of bathing water
for the gods. At the same moment the worship-
ers in the temple crowded forward and, touching
with awed fingers the swaying sides of the great
beasts, fell prostrate on their faces, lying thus
till the procession had passed.
I visited the famed Great Banyan of Madura;
and, although not particularly charmed with
Dravidian architecture in the tiring confusion
of its detail, I drove out to the Teppa Kulam
Temple, before the dying sun warned me it was
time to seek the shelter of my hotel.
It was an ideal tropical night — blue and
dreamy with moonlight — when from the deck of
our comfortable steamship I bade farewell to
Before me lay the white city of Tuticorin
slowly fading into darkness. Farther and far-
ther I gazed until the beyond was pierced by the
light of memory which, shining bright through
five busy years, illuminated the trodden path and
dispelled the few black clouds which still hung
Good-by, my India!
Though I may never see again your burning
plains, your snow-crowned hills, your sun-kissed
children, my heart will always hold you dear, for
you have given me the greatest blessing of earth
or heaven — peace!
University of British Columbia Library
FORM NO. ET-6
UNIVERSITV O": ,B C L'^.t^l 11
3" 9424 "02220 8034